Skip to main content

Full text of "The books of the Weather Bird Press oral history transcript, 1989 : Vance Gerry"

See other formats


THE  BOOKS  OF  THE  WEATHER  BIRD  PRESS 


Vance  Gerry 


Interviewed  by  Rebecca  Ziegler 


Completed  under  the  auspices 

of  the 

Oral  History  Program 

University  of  California 

Los  Angeles 


Copyright   ©  1992 
The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 


COPYRIGHT  LAW 


The  copyright  law  of  the  United  States  (Title  17, 
United  States  Code)  governs  the  making  of  photocopies 
or  other  reproductions  of  copyrighted  material.  Under 
certain  conditions  specified  in  the  law,  libraries  and 
archives  are  authorized  to  furnish  a  photocopy  or  other 
reproduction.  One  of  these  specified  conditions  is 
that  the  photocopy  or  reproduction  is  not  to  be  used 
for  any  purpose  other  than  private  study,  scholarship, 
or  research.  If  a  user  makes  a  request  for,  or  later 
uses,  a  photocopy  or  reproduction  for  purposes  in 
excess  of  "fair  use,"  that  user  may  be  liable  for 
copyright  infringement.  This  institution  reserves  the 
right  to  refuse  to  accept  a  copying  order  if,  in  its 
judgement,  fulfillment  of  the  order  would  involve 
violation  of  copyright  law. 


RESTRICTIONS  ON  THIS  INTERVIEW 


None. 


LITERARY  RIGHTS  AND  QUOTATION 


This  manuscript  is  hereby  made  available  for  research 
purposes  only.   All  literary  rights  in  the  manuscript, 
including  the  right  to  publication,  are  reserved  to 
the  University  Library  of  the  University  of  California, 
Los  Angeles.   No  part  of  the  manuscript  may  be  quoted 
for  publication  without  the  written  permission  of  the 
University  Librarian  of  the  University  of  California, 
Los  Angeles. 


CONTENTS 

Biographical  Summary vi 

Interview  History ix 

TAPE  NUMBER:   I,  Side  One  (April  20,  1989) 1 

Schooling — Teachers  at  Chouinard  Art  Institute-- 
Working  for  Grant  Dahlstrom  at  Castle  Press- - 
Scott  E.  Hasel ton- -House  Olson--Clyde  Browne-- 
Plans  to  become  an  illustrator  fall  through-- 
Begins  working  at  Walt  Disney  Studio. 

TAPE  NUMBER:  1,    Side  Two  (April  20,  1989) 26 

Gerry's  various  printshops- -Books  he  has  printed-- 
Herb  Yellin  and  the  Lord  John  Press--Gerry ' s 
favorites  among  the  books  he  has  printed. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   II,  Side  One  (April  20,  1989) 50 

More  on  Gerry's  books- -Bahloul  and  Hamdouna-- 
Miniature  books- -Woodcut  and  illustrations-- 
Checklist  of  Gerry's  publications. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   III,  Side  One  (May  4,  1989) 72 

More  on  Gerry's  books--Rounce  and  Coffin  Club-- 
Maps--More  on  miniature  books. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   III,  Side  Two  (May  4,  1989) 99 

More  books--Production  etching--Platen  jobbers-- 
Bookbindinq- -Weather  Bird — Books  he  never 
completed- -Books  he  plans  for  the  future-- 
Partnership  with  Patrick  Reagh — Favorite 
typefaces. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   IV,  Side  One  (May  4,  1989) 125 

More  on  typefaces- -Choosing  paper--Layout-- 
Illustrating--Binding . 

TAPE  NUMBER:   IV,  Side  Two  (May  4,  1989) 150 

Bela  Blau — Mel  Kavin  and  Kater  Craft  binders — 
Gerry's  commercial  printing. 


XV 


TAPE  NUMBER:   V,  Side  One  (May  18,  1989) 156 

Printers  Gerry  admires — The  Western  Books 
Exhibition — Los  Angeles  printers — Pasadena 
printers--Los  Angeles  booksellers. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   V,  Side  Two  (May  18,  1989) 182 

Jake  Zeitlin — The  Clark  Library — Printing  in 
Pasadena--The  economics  of  running  a  small  press-- 
The  future  of  printing. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   VI,  Side  One  (May  18,  1989) 206 

More  on  the  binding  process- -The  various  media 
Gerry  has  worked  in--Stenciling--The  California 
watercolorists--Watercolor  as  a  medium- -Favorite 
artists  and  illustrators--Working  at  Disney. 

TAPE  NUMBER:   VI,  Side  Two  (May  18,  1989) 231 

Various  positions  at  Disney--Films  he  has  worked 
on--Winnie-the-Pooh . 

Index 246 

Index  of  Books  Designed  and/or  Printed  by  Vance  Gerry... 251 


BIOGRAPHICAL  SUMMARY 

PERSONAL  HISTORY: 

Bom:   August  21,  1929,  Pasadena,  California. 

Education:   Woodbury  College;  Art  Center  School; 
Chouinard  Art  Institute. 

Military  service:   Corporal,  United  States  Army,  1951- 
52. 

Spouse:   Mary  Palmer  Gerry. 

CAREER  HISTORY: 

Apprentice  printer.  Castle  Press,  1943. 

Layout  man,  story  sketch  artist,  Walt  Disney  Studio, 
1955-present. 

Owner,  Weather  Bird  Press,  1968-present. 

Printer,  Patrick  Reagh  Printers,  Glendale,  California, 
1980-81. 

SELECTED  BOOKS  DESIGNED  AND/OR  PRINTED  BY: 

Some  Fond  Remembrances  of  a  Boy  Printer  at  the  Castle 
Press  (1968). 

The  Marvelous  Platen  Jobber  of  George  Phineas  Gordon 
(1968). 

The  Ernest  A.  Lindner  Collection  of  Antique  Printing 
Machinery  (1971). 

A  Picture  Book  of  Chickens  (1972). 

The  Everyday  Gourmet,  Dan  and  Betty  Bailey  (1973). 

Bibliography  of  Cheney  Miniatures  (1975). 

Distributing  Type  or  the  Just  Art  of  Throwing  In  (1975) 

Special  Recipes  for  Special  People,  Vera  Ricci  (1976). 


VI 


A  Tussle  Mussie,  Louise  Seymour  Jones  (1976). 

Grant  Dahlstrom,  Master  Printer;  A  Tribute  on  His 
Seventy-fifth  Birthday  (1977). 

Four  Common  Plants ;  Linoleum  Cuts  and  the  Text 
Describing  Oleander,  Plumbago,  Wild  Cucumber,  and  Yarrow 
(1978). 

Grant  Dahlstrom  at  Seventy-five:  More  Tributes  (1978). 

Letters  concerning  D.  H.  Lawrence  (1978). 

The  Day  the  Pig  Fell  in  the  Well,  John  Cheever  ( 1978 ) . 

A  Treatise  on  the  Art  and  Antiquity  of  Cookery  in  the 
Middle  Ages,  Rochelle  Lucky  (1978). 

Out  of  the  West;  Poems  by  William  Everson,  Gary  Snyder, 
Philip  Levine,  Clayton  Eshleman,  and  Jerome  Rothenberg 
(1979). 

Designs  Cut  for  Plantin  Press  Calendars,  1941  to  1946, 
Marion  Kronfeld  (1980). 

Miniatures  on  Modern  Artists;  Some  Notes  (1980). 

Topography  of  the  Castle  Press,  circa  1943,  and  Other 
Dim  Recollections  (1980). 

Under  Three  Inches  (1981). 

House  Olson,  Printer,  David  W.  Davies  (1983). 

Selected  War  Poems  of  Wilfred  Owen  (1983). 

Four  Weeds  (1984). 

The  Standing  and  the  Waiting,  M.  F.  K.  Fisher  (1985). 

On  the  Illustrating  of  Books,  Edward  Ardizzone  (1986). 

The  San  Pasqual  Press;  A  Dream  Nearly  Realized  (1986). 

Goodbye,  E.  G.  Lindner  Company  (1990). 

Hearty  Fare  (1990). 

Madeleine,  Lawrence  Clark  Powell  (1990). 


Vll 


FILMS  WORKED  ON  AT  WALT  DISNEY  STUDIO: 

Sleeping  Beauty  (1959). 

101  Dalmatians  (1961). 

The  Sword  in  the  Stone  (1963). 

Winnie-the-Pooh  and  the  Honey  Tree  (1966). 

The  Jungle  Book  (1967). 

Winnie-the-Pooh  and  the  Blustery  Day  (1968) 

The  Aristocats  (1970). 

Robin  Hood  (1973). 

The  Rescuers  (1977). 

The  Fox  and  the  Hound  (1981). 

The  Black  Cauldron  (1985). 

The  Great  Mouse  Detective  (1986). 

Oliver  (1988). 

The  Prince  and  the  Pauper  (1990). 

Beauty  and  the  Beast  (1991). 
AFFILIATIONS: 

Rounce  and  Coffin  Club. 


Vlll 


INTERVIEW  HISTORY 


INTERVIEWER: 

Rebecca  Ziegler,  Gold  Shield  Intern,  UCLA  Oral  History 
Program.   B.A.,  History  of  Religions,  University  of 
Chicago;  M.A.,  Folklore,  UCLA;  Ph.D.,  individual 
program,  UCLA;  M.L.S.,  UCLA. 

TIME  AND  SETTING  OF  INTERVIEW: 

Place:   Tapes  I  and  II,  Powell  Library,  UCLA;  tape  III, 
University  Research  Library,  UCLA. 

Dates,  length  of  sessions:   April  20,  1989  (102 
minutes);  May  4,  1989  (144);  May  18,  1989  (160). 

Total  number  of  recorded  hours:   6.75 

Persons  present  during  interview:   Gerry  and  Ziegler. 

CONDUCT  OF  INTERVIEW: 

In  preparing  for  the  interview,  Ziegler  reviewed  the 
Weather  Bird  Press  collection  at  UCLA's  William  Andrews 
Clark  Memorial  Library.   The  collection  contains  books 
and  other  items  printed  by  Gerry,  as  well  as  the  proof 
sheets,  correspondence,  sketches,  and  financial  records 
related  to  his  various  printing  jobs. 

The  interview  is  organized  chronologically,  beginning 
with  Gerry's  schooling,  early  work  experiences,  and 
subsequent  career  at  Walt  Disney  Studio,  and  continuing 
on  through  his  career  as  a  printer.   Major  topics 
discussed  include  the  books  that  Gerry  has  printed,  his 
ideas  on  book  design  and  illustration,  other  printers 
and  bookmen  in  Los  Angeles,  and  Gerry's  work  at  Disney 
Studio. 

EDITING: 

Lisa  White,  editorial  assistant,  edited  the  interview. 
She  checked  the  verbatim  transcript  of  the  interview 
against  the  original  tape  recordings,  edited  for 
punctuation,  paragraphing,  and  spelling,  and  verified 
proper  names.   Words  and  phrases  inserted  by  the  editor 
have  been  bracketed. 


IX 


Gerry  reviewed  the  transcript.   He  verified  proper  names 
and  made  minor  corrections  and  additions. 

Teresa  Barnett,  senior  editor,  prepared  the  table  of 
contents  and  index.   Rebecca  Stone,  editorial  assistant, 
prepared  the  biographical  summary  and  interview  history. 

SUPPORTING  DOCUMENTS: 

The  original  tape  recordings  of  the  interview  are  in  the 
university  archives  and  are  available  under  the 
regulations  governing  the  use  of  permanent  noncurrent 
records  of  the  university.   Records  relating  to  the 
interview  are  located  in  the  office  of  the  UCLA  Oral 
History  Program. 

Gerry's  papers  are  deposited  at  the  William  Andrews 
Clark  Memorial  Library,  and  are  listed  as  Press  Coll 
Weather  Bird,  Gerry,  Archives  of  the  Weather  Bird  Press 
1967  to  1987. 


X 


TAPE  NUMBER:   I,  SIDE  ONE 
APRIL  20,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   I'm  sitting  here  in  Powell  Library  in  Lawrence 

Clark  Powell's  former  office  and  I'm  interviewing  Vance 

Gerry.   So  are  we  ready  to  begin? 

GERRY:   Yes,  indeed  we  are. 

ZIEGLER:   First,  could  you  tell  me  a  little  bit  about  when 

and  where  you  were  born  and  where  you  grew  up? 

GERRY:   Yes.   I  was  born  in  Pasadena--I  still  live  there-- 

almost  sixty  years  ago. 

ZIEBLER:   Have  you  lived  there  all  your  life? 

GERRY:   Off  and  on  for  most  of  my  life,  yes,  I've  lived  in 

Pasadena. 

ZIEGLER:   What  schools  did  you  attend? 

GERRY:   I  went  to  Luther  Burbank  Grammar  School,  Thomas 

Jefferson  Grammar  School,  and  then  we  moved  to  Altadena 

from  Pasadena.   We  lived  there  for  the  next  twenty  years,  I 

guess.   And  I  went  to  Elliot  Junior  High  School,  Charles  W. 

Elliot  Junior  High  School  in  Altadena.   And  then —  I  was  a 

very  bad  student — a  very  poor  student — and  I  went  through 

high  school  at  a  little  school  for  those  who  weren't  smart 

enough  to  make  it  through  public  school  called  University 

School,  which  was  in  Pasadena.   That's  how  I  managed  to  get 

through  high  school . 

ZIEGLER:   Where  did  you  go  then? 


GERRY:   Well,  as  I  said,  I  was  a  pretty  bad  student,  and 
the  only  thing  I'd  ever  shown  any  talent  in  was  a  little 
bit  of  artwork.   Teachers  usually  liked  my  artwork  in 
grammar  school,  watercolors  and  crayons  and  so  on.   So  I 
had  sort  of  always  thought  that  I  would  be  a  commercial 
artist.   So  when  it  came  time  to  go  to  college--which  my 
father  [Francis  B.  Gerry],  of  course,  wanted  me  to  do 
although  I  was  ill-prepared--!  chose  art  school,  because  I 
thought  it  would  be  easy  and  because  I  could  qualify  and 
get  in,  whereas  in  a  regular  college  I  probably  could  never 
have  gotten  in.   But  he  went  along  with  that,  and  I  went  to 
a  place  that's  still  going  called  Woodbury  College.   This 
was  right  about  at  the  end  of  the  war  and  it  was  filled 
with  GI  students,  and  they  had  expanded  their  facilities  to 
accommodate  them. 
ZIEGLER:   Where's  that  located? 

GERRY:   It  was  on  Wilshire  Boulevard  near  Figueroa  [Street] 
at  that  time.   I  don't  know  where  it  is  now.   It  may  still 
be  there.   And  they  had  a  commercial  art  department,  which 
was  not  very  good  I  don't  think  at  that  time.   But  I  was 
pretty  young.   I  wasn't  twenty  years  old  when  I  started  at 
Woodbury.   And  it  was  probably- -because  I  was  so  young- - 
better  to  go  there  than  one  of  the  better  art  schools  when 
I  was  only  that  age. 

Later  on  I  went  to  Art  Center  [School],  which  was  then 


way  out  on  Third  Street.   An  old  girls  school.   I  went 
there  for  a  semester  and  I  was  drafted.   After  the  Korean 
War  I  went  to  Chouinard  [Art  Institute] ,  and  that  was  the 
best  school.   I  went  there  when  they  were  at  the  very  peak 
of  their  ability  as  an  art  school,  I  would  say.   The 
teachers  and  Mrs.  [Nelbert  Murphy]  Chouinard,  who  had  made 
the  school,  were  still  all  there  and  in  their  prime,  and  I 
was  lucky  enough  to  be  there.   Although,  at  the  time,  I 
didn't  really  realize--  It  was  later  on,  when  I  look 
back.   So  I  got  a  pretty  good  art  school  education,  if  not 
any  other  kind. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  later  on  we'd  like  to  talk  a  little  more 
about  Chouinard,  but  could  you  just  mention  some  of  the 
teachers  you  had  there? 

GERRY:   Yes.   I  think  the  most  influential  teacher  I  had 
was  a  man  named  Don  [Donald  W.]  Graham,  who  taught  drawing 
and  composition.   He  taught  from  an  entirely  different 
point  of  view  than  most  other  teachers.   He  always  talked 
about  something  you  didn't  understand.   And  he  would  either 
drive  you  nuts  or  you  fell  in  love  with  him.   He  really 
went  after  the  very  hard,  difficult  things  of  art — if  you 
want  to  say  art--and  to  get  students  to  do  these  difficult 
things  rather  than  just  copying  or  whatever,  which  most  of 
the  teachers  would  settle  for.   And  he  was  a  very--  I  never 
saw  any  of  the  artwork  he'd  ever  done  himself,  but  he  was. 


I  guess,  a  man  who  was  born  to  be  teacher.   He  knew  art 
very  well,  backwards  and  forwards,  and  he  could  teach  it. 
So  I  learned  a  lot  from  him. 

Then  there  was  a  man  named  William  Moore,  who  was —  I 
think  he  was  an  interior  designer  by  profession,  but  he 
taught  color  and  design  and  he  was  a  magnificent  teacher. 
He  had  a  system  that  was  sort  of  based  on  cubism,  although 
he  never  used  the  word  nor  did  he  want  you  to  use  the 
word.   But  a  lot  of  it  was  based  on  cubism,  and  he  had  a 
system  of  understanding  colors  and  making  designs.   He 
never  wanted  you  to  draw  with  the  pencil.   You  always  had 
to  paint  the  color  you  wanted  on  a  piece  of  paper  and  then 
cut  it  out  and  paste  these  pieces  of  paper  into  some  sort 
of  design.   It  was  really  very,  very  instructional.   I 
learned  a  great  deal  from  him. 

ZIEGLER:   So  that  was  good  training  for  a  book  layout. 
GERRY:   I  suppose  so,  yes.   Of  course,  I  had  had  some 
interest  all  the  time  in  art  school  in  layout  and 
advertising,  but  I  never  took  that.   I  wanted  to  be  an 
illustrator,  a  magazine  illustrator.   So  I  wasn't  really 
ever--  Although  I  was  still  interested  in  printing  and 
designing  and  that  sort  of  thing- -and  I  did  take  some 
advertising  courses--my  prime  interest  was  illustration. 
ZIEGLER:   I  was  wondering--  The  name  Don  Graham  rings  a 
bell  in  something  I  was  reading  about  [Walt]  Disney 


[Studio],   Didn't  he  give  classes  at  Disney  later  on? 
GERRY:   Right.   Not  later  on — I  think  it  was  earlier.   I 
think  when  Walt  Disney  wanted  to  do  Snow  White,  he  felt 
that  his  people  were  not  adequately  schooled  in  drawing. 
They  were  more  like  people  who  had  come  along  and  picked  up 
animation,  and  were  not  really  very  good  draftsmen.   They 
could  move  things  around  and  be  funny,  but  they  couldn't 
draw  very  well.   And  he  felt  that  they  weren't  going  to  be 
able  to  make  Snow  White  unless  he  had  some  of  his  artists 
better  trained.   So  he  hired  Don  Graham  from  the  Chouinard 
Art  School  to  teach  his  people  part-time.   This  was,  I 
think,  in  the  early  thirties.   This  might  have  been  as 
early  as  1931  or  '32,  I  believe.   And  Don  Graham  himself 
told  me  that  it  was  an  amazing  thing  for  him  to  be  thrown 
into  this  cartoon  world.   He  himself  had  been  steeped  in 
the  traditions  of  the  Renaissance.   That's  what  he  loved, 
the  Renaissance  masters--at  that  time,  anyway--and  here  he 
was  in  the  world  of  animated  cartoons!   And  he  said  he  had 
learned  more  from  them,  probably,  than  they  learned  from 
him.   [laughter] 

ZIEGLER:   What  would  you  say  was  his  influence  on  the  style 
of  Disney  Studios?   Actually,  we're  sort  of  skipping  all 
over  the  place,  but-- 

GERRY:   I  really  don't  know  because  I  was  never  in  one  of 
his  classes  at  Disney.   When  I  arrived  at  Disney  in  1955  he 


was  writing  a  book,  which  later  came  out  much  edited, 
called  the  Art  of  Animation.   That  came  out  around  ' 57  or 
'58,  and  he  was  at  the  studio  at  that  time  part-time, 
working  on  the  book  in  a  room  he  had  there  where  he  had 
access  to  all  of  the  Disney  material.   What  was  the  rest  of 
that  question? 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  was  saying  we're  sort  of  jumping  ahead, 
and  maybe  we  can  go  back  to  your  childhood  and  growing  up 
years  and  so  forth,  and  then  talk  more  about  Don  Graham  and 
Chouinard  later. 
GERRY :   Okay . 

ZEIGLER:   Could  you  tell  me  some  about  your  early 
experiences  with  books?   Maybe  things  that  first  got  you 
interested  in  books  as  works  of  art,  and  considerations  of 
illustration,  layout,  design,  all  that. 
GERRY:   I  can't  remember  that  I--  We  always  read.   My 
mother  [Clella  White  Gerry]  always  took  me  to  the 
library.   She  always  read;  I  always  read.   Although  mostly 
always  just  novels.   She  liked  movies  and  novels,  and  we 
were  always  at  the  library.   But  more,  like  I  say,  for 
purposes  of  entertainment.   So  the  library  was  not  a 
mystery  to  me.   I  was  never  frightened.   In  fact,  I  still 
feel  more  comfortable  in  a  library  than  perhaps  anywhere 
else.   [laughter] 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I'm  delighted  to  hear  that. 


GERRY:   I  learned  to  read  in  spite  of  being  a  bad  student, 
but  I  had  no  interest  in  a  book  as  a  manufactured  object  of 
art.   It  wasn't  until  I  worked  for  Grant  Dahlstrom  that  I 
began  to  see--  He  would  point  out  things  about  books.   And 
even  though  I  wasn't  interested  in  printing  a  book  at  the 
time  I  worked  for  him,  I  think  his  influences  were  probably 
all  stored  away  in  my  mind,  and  when  I  did  get  interested  I 
could  draw  on  those  experiences  and  what  he  had  taught  me-- 
I  mean,  without  teaching.   It  was  a  work  situation;  he  was 
not  a  teacher.   It  was  just  what  you  picked  up.   He  was  a 
book-oriented  printer,  I  would  say.   Even  though  he  would 
do  a  lot  of  commercial  work,  his  printing  instincts  were 
from  the  book  rather  than  from  the  advertising  world. 
ZIEGLER:   Do  you  remember  some  specific  instances  when  he 
showed  you  about  layout?   Or  when  he  was  working  on 
something  and  it  struck  you,  and  you  think  in  retrospect 
that  it  influenced  you? 

GERRY:   Well,  I  got  to  be  interested  in  printing  when  I 
worked  for  him.   Although  I  had  gone  to  work  for  him 
because  I  needed  some  money.   This  was  during  the  war,  and 
young  people  could  get  jobs  because  everybody  was  off 
fighting  the  war.   The  men  weren't  home,  so  boys  could  get 
jobs.   And  I  could  have  the  money  which  my  father  wasn't 
going  to  give  me.   I  mean,  no  one's  father  gave  them  money 
in  those  days.   The  only  way  you  got  money  was  by  working 


for  it. 

So  I  got  a  job  with  Grant  because  I'd  had  a  little 
printing  experience.   I  had  a  friend  in  junior  high  school 
who  worked  in  a  local  print shop,  and  he  said,  "Well,  you 
could  make  money.   You  could  make  $8  or  $10  a  week  in  your 
part-time."   That  sounded  very  good  to  me,  because  there 
were  a  number  of  things  I  wanted.   There  was  a  certain  kind 
of  toy  that  I  was  trying  to  collect,  and  they  were  all 
terribly  expensive  and  I  never  had  any  money.   So  when  I 
went  to  work  for  Grant--  I  mean,  when  I  took  my  first 
paycheck  I  was  so  excited  I  took  it  to  the  store  to  buy 
this  object  I'd  wanted.   I  can't  remember  what  happened 
right  now--it  was  either  sold  or  it  was  broken  or  something 
had  happened.   But  I  had  the  money,  so  I  had  to  spend  it. 
So  I  bought  a  little  toy  printing  press  which  I  took  back 
and  showed  to  Grant. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  it  actually  work?   Could  you  print  things  on 

it? 

GERRY:   Oh,  yes,  it  was  a  real  printing  press.   It  had 

metal  type  and  it  was  a  small  platen  press. 

ZIEGLER:   About  how  big  was  it? 

GERRY:   I  guess  the  inside  of  the  chase  was  3"  X  5".   And  I 

think  he  was  a  little  astounded  that  he  had  so  influenced 

me  in  a  couple  of  weeks  that  I'd  gone  out  and  bought  a 

printing  press.   But,  anyway,  I  took  it  home  and  I  began 


8 


to —  He  was  throwing  out  a  lot  of  type  that  he  had 
inherited  from  the  previous  owners  that  he  didn't  like,  and 
he  would  sell  it  to  me  for  the  scrap  metal  price.   So  I  was 
busily  getting  some  after-hours,  setting  up  some  type  that 
he  didn't  want.   And  I  took  it  home.   I  was  printing  at 
home  in  my  bedroom.   Scott  [E.]  Haselton,  a  publisher  who 
shared  the  building  with  Grant,  used  to  call  me  the 
"bedroom  printer, "  and  he  thought  that  was  terribly 
amusing.   I  guess  I  was  about  fourteen,  fifteen  years 
old.   And  so  whatever  I  printed,  of  course,  I  would  bring 
it  in  and  show  Grant,  and  he  would  criticize  it.   So  that 
was  the  way--  Probably  his  criticism  of  my  work  is  the  only 
example  I  can  think  of-- 

ZIEGLER:   What  were  some  of  those  early  things  you  printed? 
GERRY:   Oh,  I  suppose  some  silly,  ephemeral  things.   I 
can't  even  remember.   But  he  would  always  say,  "Don't  use 
so  many  kinds  of  type.   Don't  put  so  much  ink  on.   Try  not 
to  have  it  going  all  over."   The  standard  things  that  a 
person  would  tell  you.   I  mean,  they  weren't  standard--they 
were  better  than  standard.   That  was  the  only  time  I  could 
think  of  where  he  directly  influenced  the  way  I  would 
work.   Because  in  the  shop  the  boys  were  not  in  any 
creative  capacity.   We  swept  the  floor  or  we  washed  the 
presses,  or  we  might  run  the  little  jobbing  press  and  print 
business  cards  and  things  like  that,  that  he  didn't  want  to 


waste  anybody  else's  time  doing. 

ZIEGLER:   And  also  distributing  type.   You  have  an  amusing 
little  essay  on  that. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yes.   I  also  was  distributing  type,  right. 
That  was  a  long  and  arduous  job,  getting  rid  of  all  the 
type  that  had  been  set  and  used.   It  had  to  be  all  put  back 
in  the  cases,  and  it  was  very  tedious  and  tiring. 
Actually,  anything  I  did  that  was  creative  from  Grant 
Dahlstrom  was  kind  of  picked  up  on  the  sidelines.   Because 
I  didn't  do  creative  work  for  him.   So  it  was  just  sort  of 
like  he  would  say,  "Here's  an  example  of  something  that 
looks  pretty  good."   Or  "Why  did  they  ruin  this?   Look  what 
this  guy  did  to  this!   He  put  all  these  ornaments  on  here, 
and  he  didn't  need  those."   But,  like  I  say,  I  must  have 
picked  this  up  indirectly,  because  I  wasn't  that  interested 
in  printing.   I  was  going  to  go  to  art  school  I  kept 
telling  everybody,  which  of  course  I  later  on  did. 
ZIEGLER:   So  you  didn't  think  at  that  time  you  might  be  a 
printer  yourself  eventually? 

GERRY:   No,  no.   It  wasn't  going  to  be  my  employment  when  I 
grew  up.   I  was  not  going  to  be  a  printer,  no.   I  mean,  it 
was  terrible.   It  was  a  lot  of  work,  and  it  was  dirty, 
[laughter]   But  I  guess  I  did  learn,  because  from  then  on, 
after  I  left  Grant--  And,  of  course,  we  had  contact  until 
he  died.   For  the  next  thirty  years,  I  suppose,  we  got 


10 


together  and  I  would  show  him  things  I  did.   He  kind  of 
came  to  appreciate  me  as  a  printer.   I  mean,  for  a  long 
time  he  thought  I  was  just,  you  know,  doing  terrible 
things.   But  later  on,  from  listening  to  him  and  taking  his 
comments,  I  got  to  where  he  almost  liked  some  of  my 
things!   [laughter] 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  you  may  be  overstating  the  case,  but  could 
you  tell  me  about  some  of  his  early  criticisms  of  your 
printing?   And  then  some  of  the  things  he  really  liked? 
GERRY:   Well,  I  don't  think  he  ever  came  out  and  said  he 
really  liked  anything.   But  he  did  compliment  my  presswork 
on  a  cookbook  I  did. 
ZIEGLER:   Which  was  that? 

GERRY:   That  was  called  Recipes  for--  Gosh,  I  can't 
remember.   It  was  by--  I  can't  even  remember  the  author. 
ZIEGLER:   Special  Recipes  for  Special  People. 
GERRY:   It  was  a  little  recipe  book  I  printed  out.   I 
printed  it  out  on  a  hand  cylinder  press,  and  it  was  very 
good  presswork.   I  did  a  lot  of  tedious  makeready  and  it 
came  out  pretty  good.   Vera  Ricci  was  the  author. 
ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  saw  it  at  the  Clark  Library. 
GERRY:   Maybe  it  wasn't  really  praise.   It  was  just  that  he 
didn't  throw  it  all  out  or  tear  it  up  or  jump  all  over  it 
for  being  wrong  that  I  took  to  be  praise.   [laughter]   But 
most  of  his  criticisms  were  "Don't  use  so  many  kinds  of 


11 


type."   Also,  very  frequently  he  would  point  to  others  of 
his  contemporaries  and  he  would  say,  "Look  at  what  he 
did!   He  did  this  wrong."   Or  "Why  did  he  do  this?"   Or 
"Why  did  he  put  this  type  down  here?   Why  did  he  use  such 
small  type?"   Things  that  he  personally  didn't  like  as  far 
as  design  goes. 

ZIEGLER:   So  his  style  was  very  simple  and  elegant? 
GERRY:   Yeah.   I  don't  know  elegant,  but  it  was  simple.   He 
went  for  simplicity  and  underplayed  everything  pretty 
much.   That  was  the  sort  of  man  he  was.   He  dressed  in  a 
very  underplayed  sort  of  way  and  was  a  very  modest  man, 
with  modified  speech.   He  very  properly  and  carefully 
learned  the  English  language  and  was  a  big  stickler  for  the 
English  language  in  terms  of  printing,  how  it  applied,  and 
had  all  sorts  of  various  books  on  the  subject.   Well,  I 
can't  think  right  off  of  everything  about  Grant. 
ZIEGLER:   We'll  maybe  talk  more  about  him  later,  and  of 
course  anything  that  you  think  of  along  the  way  we'd  be 
glad  to  have  here  on  the  tape.   Who  were  some  of  the  other 
people  that  worked  at  the  Castle  Press  while  you  were 
there? 

GERRY:   I  mentioned  Scott  Haselton,  who  had  quite  a  history 
in  printing.   There's  a  book  on  him  published  by  Dawson's 
[Book  Shop],  I  think,  and  printed  by  Pat  [Patrick]  Reagh,  I 
believe,  which  is  a  little  short  biography  [Scott  E. 


12 


Haselton  and  His  Abbey  Garden  Press  by  David  W.  Davies] . 
He  owned  the  building.   He  had  his  own  plant  there.   He  and 
Grant  shared  the  building,  and  they  each  had  their  own 
printing  plant  within  the  building.   And  they  shared  each 
other's  equipment,  also. 

Haselton  printed  the  Cactus  and  Succulent  Journal.   In 
fact,  he  may  have  founded  the  magazine.   He  had  lived  in 
the  desert,  because  he  had  been  gassed  in  the  First  World 
War  and  he  had  come  to  the  desert  to  live.   The  doctors 
thought  that  would  be  better  for  him.   And  that's  where  he 
got  interested  in  cactus  and  succulents.   So  he  got  into 
printing  and  moved  out  of  the  desert  into  L.A. ,  and  by 
various  means  he  learned  to  be  a  printer  and  got  interested 
in  publishing.   He  published  quite  a  number  of  books  on  the 
subject  of  cactus  and  succulents. 

He'd  been  associated  with  the  early  printer  in 
Garvanza  [area  of  Los  Angeles] ,  whose  name  I  should 
remember- -Clyde  Browne.   He  had  worked  with  Browne  and 
another  woman  who  worked  there  by  the  name  of  Helen 
Sloan.   She  had  worked  for  Clyde  Browne.   She'd  done  her 
apprenticeship  with  him  in  Clyde  Browne's  Abbey  of  San 
Encino  Press.   I  believe  that's  what  it  was  called.   She'd 
learned  Linotype  from  him,  and  she  was  primarily  a  Linotype 
operator.   But  she  did  a  lot  of  makeup,  and  she  did  some 
small  platen  press  work.   I  learned  all  the  particulars  of 


13 


printing  from  her.   You  know,  the  actual  setting  and 
distributing  of  it.   The  tedious  tasks  of  printing  I 
learned  from  her,  whereas  Grant  spent  most  of  his  time 
setting  the  type  by  hand.   Hand-setting  the  type  or  in  his 
office  or  out  selling.   He  never  went  out  and  ran  a  press 
or  anything  like  that. 

ZIEGLER:   How  much  of  what  they  did  at  Castle  Press  was 
hand- set  and  how  much  was  done  on  the  Linotype? 
GERRY:   I'd  say  anything  that  had  more  than  two  or  three 
lines  was  set  on  a  Linotype.   Mostly  just  the  display  type 
was  set  by  hand  and  headings  and  that  sort  of  thing.   But 
never  any  text.   That  was  all  done  on  the  Linotype.   Either 
by  their  own  machine,  which  belonged  to  Scott  and  Grant 
merely  rented  time  on  it,  or  whether  it  was  done  by  a  trade 
typesetter.   It  was  mostly  all  done  on  Linotype. 
ZIEGLER:   Would  you  like  to  say  more  about  how  Scott 
Haselton  and  Helen  Sloan  and  these  other  people  influenced 
you,  then,  in  how  you  eventually  became  a  printer  yourself? 
GERRY:   Well,  I  would  guess  it  would  be  more  like  I  didn't 
know  I  was  being  taught.   I  didn't  know  I  was  learning 
anything  while  I  was  there.   It  was  just  a  job.   But  then 
later  on  when  I  wanted  to  print  myself,  I  followed  how  they 
did  it.   That  was  the  way  I'd  learned,  and  I  suppose 
someone  else  would  do  it  a  different  way.   But  I  pretty 
much  started  printing  the  way  we  had  done  it  at  the  Castle 


14 


Press.   And  the  way  Haselton  had  done  it.   I  wanted  to  get 
a  Linotype  and  press  like  his,  because  I  always  thought  he 
had  a  really  good  thing  going  for  him.   Not  that  he  made 
any  money,  but  he  had  this  magazine,  plus  his  other  books 
he  published,  and  he  did  everything  except  the  press  and 
the  typesetting.   Helen  would  set  the  type,  and  then  he 
would  make  up  the  pages  on  the  stone  himself  and  get  it  all 
locked  up  and  in  the  press.   The  pressman  would  run  off  the 
magazine.   Then  Scott  would  run  it  through  the  folder. 
He'd  trim  it,  he'd  stitch  it,  he'd  package  it,  and  then 
he'd  mail  it,  all  there  in  his  shirt  and  tie.   And  I 
thought,  "What  a  nice  job.   What  a  nice  man.   What  a  nice 
way  to  live  your  life."   But  I  never  achieved  that. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  that  was  entirely  his  own  product. 
GERRY:   Right.   Grant  always  said  that  he  made  a  lot  of 
money,  but  I  can't  believe  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Do  you  happen  to  know  what  the  circulation  was  of 
the  Cactus  and  Succulent  Journal?   Or  approximately? 
GERRY:   Well,  I'm  just  trying  to  remember  the  piles  of  the 
magazines.   I  suppose  it  was  probably  a  little  more  than  a 
thousand  worldwide.   But  that's  a  guess.   I  think  it's 
still  being  published  in  Santa  Barbara. 

ZIEGLER:   Was  it  mainly  about  raising  cacti?   Or  was  it,  I 
don't  know,  about  seeing  cacti  in  the  desert? 
GERRY:   It  had  photographs  in  it.   I  was  not  at  any  time 


15 


interested  in  cactus,  so  I  can't  say  that  I  ever  read  it. 
But  there  were  articles  by  different  people,  and  I  think 
Scott  himself  wrote  some  articles.   In  fact,  he  had  a 
little  cactus  garden  next  door  in  another  building.   When 
he  moved  next  door,  it  had  a  little  patio  and  he  had  his 
own  cactus  garden  there.   So  he  wasn't  just  a  guy  that 
published  the  magazine.   He  really  was  interested  in  cactus 
and  succulents .   And  then  I  guess  he  sold  it .   I  can ' t 
remember  when.   He  may  still  be  alive.   He  moved  to 
Vermont.   Last  time  I  talked  to  him  he  was  in  his  eighties 
and  he  was  living  in  Vermont,  where  apparently  he  came 
from.   So  for  a  man  who  was  gassed  in  the  First  World  War 
and  wasn't  expected  to  live  very  long--was  told  to  live  in 
the  desert--he  lasted  a  pretty  long  time! 
ZIEGLER:   Yes.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   Let's  see  if  there  are  any  other  people  that  worked 
there.   House  Olson  came  in  once.   He  had  been  one  of  the 
original  founders  of  the  Castle  Press.   Before  Grant 
Dahlstrom  bought  it,  it  was  founded  by  Roscoe  Thomas  and 
House  Olson.   Roscoe  put  up  the  money  and  the  selling 
ability  and  the  editorial  ability,  and  House  Olson  was  the 
printer.   He  was  a  typographer.   He  also  had  worked  for 
Browne,  although  I  think  he  came  from  the  East.   He  had 
worked  for  Browne  too.   But  they  started  the  shop  and  then 
in  1942  or  '43  Grant  bought  it  from  him.   It  never  was  very 


16 


successful.   It  always  operated  in  the  red.   They  did  some 
very  nice  work.   But  it  was  in  the  middle  of  the  Depression 
when  they  started,  and  the  war  ended  when  they  broke  up. 
Thomas  went  away  to  be  a  manager  at  a  department  store, 
Nash's  Department  Store  in  Pasadena.   Olson  went  off 
somewhere  to  manage  a  maritime--  For  survivors  of  wrecked 
ships  somewhere  in  South  America.   Which  seems  very 
improbable,  but  it  didn't  last  too  long,  and  he  came  back 
and  he  worked  for  Grant  for  about  two  weeks .   That ' s  where 
I  met  him.   He  ran  the  vertical  presses  there  for  Grant  for 
about  two  weeks,  and  then  they  had  a  falling-out  or 
something  and  he  went  on  to  do  something--  Oh,  no,  he 
didn't  go  do  something  else.   He  was  a  printer  until  the 
end  of  his  life.   But  he  moved  from  printshop  to  printshop, 
I  understand.   David  W.  Davies  wrote  a  book  on  him  called 
House  Olson,  Printer. 

ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  saw  that.   Could  you  say  some  about  House 
Olson's  style  as  a  typographer? 

GERRY:   Well,  he  was  very  much  a  contemporary  typographer 
of  his  day,  of  his  time.   He  didn't  hark  back  to  the  old 
stuff,  the  old  style,  or  try  to  imitate  some  ancient  thing 
like  Elbert  Hubbard.   Even  Clyde  Browne  was  very  much  a 
sort  of  the  old  printer  trying  to  revive  the  ancient 
William  Morris-type  stuff.   Olson  was  a  contemporary 
typographer  working  in  his  own  time.   That's  about  all  I 


17 


can  say.   He  was  good.   They  did  a  few  books  at  the  Castle 
Press  when  Thomas  and  Olson  owned  it,  and  they're  very 
nice. 

ZIEGLER:   Several  of  these  people  you've  mentioned  had 
worked  with  Clyde  Browne.   Could  you  say  some  about  his 
style  and  the  products  of  the  Abbey  of  San  Encino  Press? 
GERRY:   Well,  let's  see.   Browne  started  as  a  printer  much 
earlier  than  these  others  I  mentioned. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  you  ever  meet  Clyde  Browne? 
GERRY:   No,  he  died  in  1942.   He  had  been  printing  since 
probably  around  the  turn  of  the  century,  and  then  into  the 
teens  he  was  a  Linotype  operator.   He  worked  for  the  [Los 
Angeles]  Times,  I  think,  for  a  long  time.   Then  he  started 
his  own  shop  in  Garvanza,  which  is  near  Highland  Park,  near 
Los  Angeles.   The  old  abbey  he  built  with  his  own  hands  out 
of  stone.   As  I  say,  he  was  what  you  call  an  antiquarian. 
He  liked  the  past.   He  used  great  flowery  language  in  his 
writing,  and  his  colophons  would  be  two  pages  long  with 
heavy  purple  prose.   And  he  called  it  the  Abbey  of  San 
Encino.   He  fancied  himself,  I  guess,  as  a  monkish  sort  of 
printer,  although  he  certainly  wasn't  a  monkish  sort  of 
man.   He  did  many,  many  things  other  than  printing.   It's 
amazing,  when  you  read  the  book  about  his  life  [Clyde 
Browne  and  the  Abbey  San  Encino  by  David  W.  Davies] ,  the 
many  things  he  did  do.   But  the  old  building  he  built  is 


18 


still  down  there  at  Figueroa  and  York  [Boulevard] ,  or  in 
that  vicinity.   It  was  his  home  and  his  printshop.   His 
kind  of  printing  was,  I  would  say,  in  the  style  of  Elbert 
Hubbard,  that  school  of  printing  where  they  revived  a  lot 
of  old  typefaces.   Although  some  of  Browne's  things  were 
very  nice.   He  was  interested  in  the  antiquity  of 
printing.   Oh,  he  did  lots  of  contemporary  printing.   That 
wasn't  where  his  fancy  lay,  I  don't  think. 
ZIEGLER:   Can  you  name  some  of  what  you  consider  his  best 
work? 

GERRY:   You  know,  I  can't.   I  saw  a  display  of  his  only 
once  in  my  life  that  I  think  Ed  [Edwin  H.]  Carpenter  had 
put  together.   They  had  it  in  a  bookshop  in  Laguna 
[Beach] .   And  one  time  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club  was  down 
there  and  they  visited  this  bookshop  and  saw  this  display 
of  Clyde  Browne's  material.   It  was  all  very  nice,  but  I 
can't  tell  you  that  I  remember  any  one  particular  piece. 
ZIEGLER:   Okay.   Well,  maybe  at  this  point  we  can  quickly 
summarize  the  things  that  happened  to  you  up  until  the  time 
you  started  printing  again  on  your  own.   Some  of  these 
things  we'll  come  back  to  a  little  later.   But  maybe  a 
quick  biography  of  your  life  from  the  time  you  left  the 
Castle  Press  to  the  time  you  began  printing  again. 
GERRY:   Well,  let's  see.   I  left  the  Castle  Press  and  the 
war  was  still  on.   They  had  a  plan  called  the  "four- four 


19 


plan"  for  young  people  so  that  they  could  work  at  various 
defense  factories  or  wherever  they  needed.   I  worked  at  the 
Castle  Press.   So  I  worked  four  hours  and  went  to  school 
four  hours.   But  then,  clever  lad  that  I  was,  I  quit  Grant 
Dahlstrom  and  went  home.   And  for  some  reason--  I  don't 
know  why  my  mother  went  along  with  this,  but  instead  of 
telling  the  school  that  I  was  no  longer  working,  I 
continued  to  go  to  school  only  four  hours  a  day.   The  other 
four  hours  I  took  off  and  went  to  movies  and  such  as 
that.   Until  finally  one  day  they  called  Grant  to  find  out 
what  was  going  on,  and  I  was  called  into  the  principal's 
office  to  find  out  what  I  had  been  doing  since  I  wasn't 
working  there.   [laughter]   But,  anyway,  I  worked  for  Grant 
again  many  times,  off  and  on.   On  summers  or  at  nights, 
they'd  have  me  come  down  and  do  some  work.   Of  course,  it 
was  a  nice  source  of  income  when  I  was  going  to  school . 
Like  I  say,  I  went  to  Woodbury,  and  that  wasn't  too 
successful.   Then  I  got  to  Art  Center,  which  was  a  very 
good  school.   We  were  drafted,  a  friend  of  mine  [John 
Hoernle]  and  I  were  drafted,  out  of  Art  Center  before  we 
even  had  finished  a  semester.   And  then  we  came  back  after 
the  Korean  War.   He  went  back  to  the  Art  Center,  and  I  went 
to  Art  Center  and  said,  "Well,  can  you  give  me  credit  for 
this  partial  semester  I  put  in  before  we  went  into  the 
army?"   And  they  said  no,  they  wouldn't  do  that.   So  that. 


20 


in  combination  with  the  fact  that  it  was  a  terribly  long 
way  away  from  home--  Way  out  in  Los  Angeles,  way  out  beyond 
La  Brea  [Avenue],  on  Third  [Street]  I  think,  and  I  lived  in 
Altadena.   I  decided  I'd  go  to  school  closer,  which  was  the 
Chouinard  school.   It  was  on  Grand  View  [Street]  between 
Seventh  [Street]  and  Eighth  [Street]  near  MacArthur  Park. 
I  went  there,  and  fortunately--  It  wasn't  a  studied  choice, 
but  it  was  certainly  a  lucky  choice.   Because  I  was  about 
twenty- four  years  old,  and  I  was  old  enough  to  understand 
some  things  I  probably  wouldn't  have  otherwise,  because  I'm 
very  slow  to  catch  on  to  things  anyway. 

So  I  went  there  for  about  two  years  on  the  GI  Bill. 
Oh,  maybe--  It  was  about  two  years,  two  and  a  half  years, 
and  I  began  to  realize  that  I  wasn't  going  to  be  an 
illustrator.   It  required  a  lot  of  talent.   Once  the  famous 
illustrator  Andrew  Loomis  had  come  from  somewhere  and  given 
this  talk  to  aspiring  young  artists,  and  he  said,  "You  have 
as  much  of  a  chance  to  be  a  magazine  illustrator  as  you  do 
to  be  a  movie  star!" 
ZEIGLER:   Oh,  how  depressing. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  it  was.   It  wasn't  until  I  was  about  twenty- 
six  that  I  decided  I  wasn't  going  to  be  able  to  do  it.   So 
what  was  I  going  to  do?   I  could  keep  on  going  to  school. 
I  still  had  some  GI  Bill  left.   So  I  was  talking  to  Grant 
again,  and  he  said,  "Why  don't  you  come  work  for  me  and  be 


21 


a  salesman?   A  salesman  meets  the  customers  and  he  designs 
all  the  jobs,  so  you'll  use  your  art  school  training  and 
you'll  have  a  job."   Well,  the  idea  of  a  salesman  was 
absolutely  the  last  thing  I  wanted  to  do.   I  mean,  one 
reason  a  person  likes  to  be  an  artist  is  because  they're  by 
themselves.   They  don't  ever  have  to  talk  to  anybody. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   And  to  be  a  salesman  was  really —  I  mean,  I  just 
couldn't  conceive  of  it.   But  he  made  it  sound  very  good. 
He  would  help  me,  and  he  said,  "There's  nothing  to 
selling.   All  you  have  to  do  is  have  confidence  in  your 
product."   Well,  I  could  do  that.   And  he  said,  "Selling  is 
just  a  matter  of  making  a  continual  appearance  in  front  of 
your  public.   Why,  I  used  to  know  a  salesman  who  was  the 
most  socially  obnoxious  person  you  would  ever  come  across, 
that  was  always  coming  into  our  office,  always  hanging 
around.   Nobody  liked  him,  but  he  always  got  the  printing 
job.   They  always  gave  him  the  work."   So  I  said,  "Okay. 
I'll  do  that.  Grant." 

I  went  back  to  school  and  I  told  Don  Graham,  "I'm 
going  to  quit  school  and  I'm  going  to  work.   A  man  has 
offered  me  a  job.   I'm  grown  up.   I'm  an  adult  now,  and  I'm 
going  to  go  to  work."   And  he  said,  "Oh,  you  can't  do  that, 
because  you  have  spent  all  this  time  in  art  school."   And, 
I  suppose  in  parentheses,  "I  have  spent  all  this  time 


22 


trying  to  teach  you  something."   I  don't  know  if  he  thought 
that  or  not,  but  he  didn't  want  me  to  do  it.   He  wanted  me 
to  go  on  and  be  an  artist,  which  was  the  first  time  he  had 
ever  even  indicated  that  I  should  even  be  an  artist, 
[laughter]   But,  anyway,  he  said,  "You  go  out  to  the  Disney 
Studios.   They're  hiring  some  people  out  there  because  of 
television.   Here's  this  person.   You  call  him  up  and  go 
out  there."   So  I  called  this  person,  and  they  said--  I 
mean,  Disney  was  not  the  place  necessarily  I  wanted  to  have 
a  job.   I  hadn't  thought  about  Disney  since  I  was  about  ten 
years  old.   I  put  together  a  portfolio  that  night  and  took 
it  out  the  next  day,  and  they  looked  at  it.   And  here  I 
was.   I  walked  into  this  huge--  It  was  like  a  campus.   They 
had  lawns  and  trees  and  people  roaming  around.   It  looked 
like  a  school . 

ZEIGLER:   Where  was  the  Disney  Studio? 

GERRY:   This  was  the  Disney  Studio  on  Buena  Vista  Street  in 
Burbank.   There  were  all  these  people.   I  must  have  come 
there  just  at  break  time.   So  I  was  kind  of,  you  know,  "Is 
this  a  place  where  people  really  work?"   I  was  used  to 
dingy  old  places  with  machinery  and  so--  They  looked  at  my 
portfolio,  and  they  called  me  back  and  said,  "Yes,  you  can 
start  at  so-and-so  a  date."   So  I  told  Grant,  "I'm  not 
going  to  be  a  salesman  after  all.   I'm  going  out  to 
Disney."   Well,  his  only  comment  was,  "Well,  I  sure  don't 


23 


approve  of  what  he  did  to  Alice  In  Wonderland."   So  I  said, 

"Oh?   Well,  gee."   So  I  went  out  to  work  with  the  man  who 

ruined  Alice  in  Wonderland. 

ZIEGLER:   [laughter]   Do  you  have  any  general  comments  on 

that?   I  mean,  Disney  has  taken  a  lot  of  illustrated 

children's  classics  and  redone  the  pictures. 

GERRY:   Oh,  sure.   Well,  that's  what  he  was  good  at, 

redoing  them,  putting  some  entertainment  into  them  and 

making  them  reach  a  large  audience.   I  worked  at  Disney  for 

quite  a  while.   But  it  was  a  very-- 

It  is  a  very  collaborative  sort  of  work.   All  motion 
picture  work  is.   There  wasn't  really  much  room  for  one's 
own  ego  to  show  through.   You  could  never  say,  "I  did  this 
or  I  did  that,"  because  somebody  else  had  already  worked  on 
it  or  you'd  worked  on  somebody  else's  efforts.   So,  for 
some  reason,  I  got  back  to  thinking  about  printing,  and 
it's  something  that  I  can  do  at  home.   I  kept  looking  in 
the  Los  Angeles  typefounders  catalog.   And  I  was  telling  my 
wife  [Mary  Palmer  Gerry]  about  what  fun  it  would  be.   We 
would  have  a  little  press  in  the  basement  and  all. 

So  one  Christmas  my  foolish  wife  bought  me  a  font  of 
type.   Her  brother  [Russell  Palmer],  who  was  in  the 
magazine  business,  got  from  his  printer  a  case  and  a 
stick.   And  they  gave  it  to  me  for  Christmas.   Well,  I 
started  to  put  the  type  in  the  case.   I  guess  this  would  be 


24 


in  the  early  sixties.   And  I  could  even  remember  almost  the 
whole  lay  of  the  case,  of  the  California  job  case,  and 
which  compartment  which  letter  went  into.   So  I  was  all 
excited. 

ZIEGLER:   That's  quite  an  accomplishment,  having  tried  some 
printing  myself  last  quarter.   I  didn't  learn  the  case. 
GERRY:   Well,  remember  I  had  worked  at  it  over  and  over  and 
over. 


25 


TAPE  NUMBER:   I,  SIDE  TWO 
APRIL  20,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   Okay.   You  were  telling  about  how  your  wife  gave 
you  a  font  of  type  and  your  brother-in-law  found  a  type 
case  for  you,  and  you  remembered  the  lay  of  the  case. 
GERRY:   So  I  had  to  get  a  printing  press.   I  went  down  to  a 
man  named  Harry  Lincoln,  who  was  down  on  Kingsley  [Drive] , 
right  near  Beverly  [Boulevard]  and  Ardmore  [Avenue] .   Just 
off  of  Beverly.   And  he  had  in  his  garage--  He  catered  to 
amateur  printers.   He  had  little  hand  printing  presses  and 
he  had  used  type.   Everything  for  the  lovely  amateur 
printer.   It  was  great.   It  was  fun  to  go  there.   I'd  go  on 
a  Saturday  and  buy  this,  and  then  I  bought  the  press. 
ZIEGLER:   How  much  did  presses  cost  then? 
GERRY:   This  was  a  5"  X  8"  Kelsey,  and  it  cost  $65,  I 
think.   It  was  either  brand-new  or  it  was  practically 
new.   I  don't  know  what  they  cost  today,  but  probably 
considerably  more.   Then  I  would  buy  some  type  from  Mr. 
Lincoln  and  the  leads  and  the  slugs  and  the  cases.   A  used 
case  ran  about  $3  to  $4  in  those  days.   I  built  a  little 
printshop  down  in  the  basement  of  our  house.   And  it  was 
fun.   We  did  little  ephemeral  things--I  can't  remember  any 
of  them  now- -and  we  did  a  couple  of  books.   A  little  book 
[Some  Epigrammatical  Notes]  by  a  fellow  at  work  who  used  to 
write  little  sayings  down  and  leave  them  on  your  desk  when 

26 


you  weren't  looking. 

ZIEGLER:   A  fellow  worker  at  Disney? 

GERRY:   This  was  a  fellow  named  Tony  [Anthony]  Rizzo.   He 
was  a  background  painter.   This  was  at  the  Disney  Studio. 
So  that  was  probably  the  first  book  I  did,  a  book  of  his 
sayings.   Little  things  he  had  written  and  left  on  my 
desk.   I  did  it  one  page  at  a  time.   And  a  man  who  was  an 
animator  named  Lou  [Louis]  Appet--he  later  became  the 
business  agent  for  the  cartoonist  local  [Screen  Cartoonists 
Guild] .   He  taught  me  how  to  bind  my  first  book.   It  was 
printed  one  sheet  at  a  time  on  both  sides  and  then  it  was 
perfect-bound.   The  edges  of  the  pages  were  all  glued 
together,  glued  to  a  piece  of  super,  and  then  it  was  put  in 
a  case.   If  you  pulled  the  pages  good  and  hard,  they  would 
come  right  out,  but  it  was  done.   It  was  my  very  first 
book. 

ZIEGLER:   The  librarian's  joke  that  perfect-bound  is  far 
from  perfect.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   Right.   And  I  guess  I  did  maybe  ten  copies  of 
that.   Then  later  on--  I'm  sorry,  I  bound  ten  copies.   Then 
later  on  I  issued  some  more  with  a  wrapper.   Then  I  think  I 
did  another  book--and  this  is  all  on  the  little  5"  X  8" 
Kelsey--called  The  Night  before  Christmas.   Everybody  does 
that.   And  bound  it  in  red.   By  this  time,  I'd  bought  some 
nice  type.   I  bought  Bembo  narrow  italic,  and  that's  what  I 


27 


set  The  Night  before  Christmas  in. 

ZIEGLER:   What  was  the  font  that  your  wife  gave  you? 
GERRY:   Oh,  she  gave  a  font  of  18-point  Ultra  Bodoni.   It's 
a  very  black  face.   It's  very  thick  Bodoni.   It  wasn't  very 
practical,  but  I  think  I  may  still  have  it  and  may  still  be 
using  it.   For  certain  things  it's  good.   So  the  Christmas 
book  I  did  and  bound  in  green  enamel  paper,  and  it  had  a 
multicolored  title  page.   I  think  I  did  ten  of  those.   I 
bound  them  on  the  dining  room  table.   We  didn't  have  a-- 
ZIEGLER:   You  wrote  the  forward  for  it? 
GERRY:   I  think  so,  yes.   I  guess  I  was  getting  into-- 
ZIEGLER:   I  remember  reading  an  amusing  forward  at  the 
Clark  about  how  Clement  [C]  Moore  wanted  to  be  remembered 
as  a  theologian  and  ended  up  being  remembered  for  The  Night 
before  Christmas. 

GERRY:   Yes,  I  guess  that  must  have  been  the  first  time  I 
did  that.   Because  almost  everything  afterwards  I  had  to 
make  some  comment  on.   I  did  not  think  of  myself  as  a 
writer  at  all.   But  then  that  didn't  seem  enough.   Now,  I 
was  interested  in  book  printing  and  I  got  a  larger  press. 
I  got  a  Chandler  8"  X  12".   Some  friends  helped  me  move  it, 
and  I  put  some  concrete  piers  in  the  basement  and  built  the 
printshop  around  it.   Our  house  was  on  the  side  of  a  hill, 
so  there  was  room  to  expand  underneath  the  house,  because 
the  house  was  empty  below  where  the  hill  sloped.   And  so  I 


28 


built —  That  would  be  the  second  printshop,  because  I  had 
the  bigger  press  and  then  I  got  a  proof  press,  a  little  Hoe 
or  Miles.   A  little  cast-iron  drum-cylinder  press,  the 
crudest  kind  of  press,  for  proofs  only.   And  I  had  some 
more  cases  of  type  and  I  bought  some  more  type,  and  I  was 
pretty  much  fixed  on  printing  at  this  time.   So  I  worked  in 
that  little  shop  for  quite  a  while.   I  took  the  press  apart 
completely  and  cleaned  it  all  up  and  painted  it.   I  may 
have  done  some  other  books,  and  then  I  did  one  about  the 
platen  press,  which  was  the  kind  of  press  I  had,  which  was 
a  little  jobbing  press. 

ZIEGLER:   Is  that  the  one  with  the  ground  plate  that  inks? 
GERRY:   Right.   And  opens  and  closes  on  your  hand,  or  not, 
hopefully.   That  would  be  my  second  serious  printshop.   I 
was  getting  a  little  more  serious  now.   Around  1965,  we 
would  visit  Laguna  Beach  frequently.   In  the  window  of  the 
newspaper  when  you  would  walk  by,  there  was  an  old  Linotype 
there,  and  I  got  intrigued.   I  wanted  to  get  a  Linotype. 
Because  as  a  kid  working  for  Dahlstrom,  I  had  been 
interested  in  this  fascinating  machine  that  did  these 
things.   But,  you  know,  I  was  never  allowed  to  get  near  it, 
because  it  was  a  very  sensitive,  very  touchy  machine.   Boys 
were  not  supposed  to  ever  get  near  it.   I  mean,  if  Helen 
Sloan  ever  caught  you  anywhere  near  the  vicinity  of  it,  she 
would  really  give  you  a  good  chewing  out.   So  I  wanted--  I 


29 


was  really  interested  in  the  mechanics  of  it,  I  would 
guess,  equally  as  much  as  in  the  ability  to  set  type.   So 
as  time  progressed,  I  became  more  and  more  obsessed  with 
this  idea  of  getting  a  machine.   It  was  coincidental  with 
the  time  when  most  printers  were  going  over  to  offset  and 
getting  rid  of  their  hot  metal  equipment. 

I  found  a  dealer  by  the  name  of  Nate  Freeman,  who  had 
a  printing  metal  service  where  they  serviced  hot  metal 
people  by  remelting  their  metal  type  for  them  and  cleaning 
it  up  and  putting  it  back  into  bars  that  could  be  made  into 
more  type.   That  was  the  service  they  offered.   But  on  the 
side,  he  was  also  a  dealer  in  used  machinery.   So  I  bought 
my  first  Linotype  from  him  for  $600,  I  think.   It  was  a 
terrible  lot  of  money.   And  I  also  bought  from  him  a  Miehle 
vertical,  which  could  print  four  pages  up  and  feed 
itself.   It  was  an  automatic  job  cylinder  press.   And  I 
bought  a  paper  cutter,  and  I  moved  it  all  into  a  building 
in  South  Laguna.   My  intention  was  eventually  to  move  down 
there  and  have  this  shop.   So  this  was  my  third  shop.   Now 
it  was  serious  business. 

I  invested  probably  $3,000  in  all  this  stuff.   I  don't 
know  how  my  wife  went  along  with  it,  but  she  seemed  to,  for 
a  while  anyway.   So  that's  when  I  started  the  Weather  Bird 
Press.   We  would  drive  down  every  weekend.   We  had  a  house 
there,  and  we  would  go  down  every  weekend  and  slave  away  in 


30 


the  printshop.   I'd  print  anything  anybody  wanted  me  to 

print  to  sort  of  help  pay  for  it. 

ZIEGLER:   For  a  while  you  called  your  press  the  Peach  Pit 

Press. 

GERRY:   Right.   I  think  when  I  first  started  printing,  I'd 

read  or  seen  a  number  of  articles  about  a  guy  in  the  East 

named  Morris  or  "Moe"  Liebowitz,  who  was  the  champion  of — 

What  do  you  want  to  say?   Bedroom  printers,  backroom 

printers,  amateur  printers.   And  he  had  gathered  all  sorts 

of  material  from  people  who  were  changing  their 

technology.   He  had  a  lot  of  fun  with  it,  did  amazing 

things  with  old  type  and  old  wooden  type  that  people  had 

given  him.   I  forget  what  his  press  was  called.   I  think  it 

was  the  Bluegrass  Press  or  something.   But  people  had  funny 

names  for  their  presses--they  all  tried  to  be  amusing  and 

say  amusing  things.   So  I  thought  Peach  Pit  Press  was  very-- 

what?- -alliterative. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   I  like  it.   I  like  both  your  names. 

GERRY:   But  then  when  I  went  to  Laguna,  or  when  I  got  the 

Linotype  and  the  bigger  and  larger  press,  I  thought,  "No, 

this  is  too  serious."   So  we  tried  out  all  sorts  of 

names.   My  wife  came  up  with  Weather  Bird. 

ZIEGLER:   How  did  you  come  up  on  that? 

GERRY:   Well,  I  think —  We  were  trying  to  think  of  names 

like  the  "Tide  Pool,"  something  to  do  with  the  beach. 


31 


Then,  also,  I  had  learned  that  Gerald  Murphy,  who  was  an 

expatriate  of  the  twenties  and  a  friend  of  Hemingway  and 

Picasso,  lived  in  the  south  of  France  and  in  Paris--  He  had 

a  yacht.   And  in  his  yacht  he  put  Louis  Armstrong's  record 

of  "Weatherbird  [Rag]."   He  put  this  record  in  his  yacht, 

the  keel  of  his  yacht--he  so  much  liked  the  record.   It 

felt  like  it  gave  him  good  luck  or  something.   So  when  I 

remembered  that,  I  thought,  "Yeah,  'Weather  Bird. '   That 

sounds  good.   If  Gerald  Murphy  would  do  that,  that  sounds 

good  enough  for  me."   I  mean,  I  didn't  do  it  because  of 

Louie.   I  mean,  I'm  a  great  fan  of  Louie  Armstrong,  but 

that  isn't  why  I  did  it.   Because  "Weather  Bird"  sounded 

like  something  to  do  with  the  beach.   See  the  birds  sitting 

out  there . 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  it ' s  a  great  name,  and  you  have  a  beautiful 

logo  of  the  weather  bird. 

GERRY:   I  never  did  come  up  with  a  logo. 

ZIEGLER:   Oh,  I  thought  it  was  sort  of  acting  as  a  logo, 

just  a  single  bird. 

GERRY:   I  used  like  a  little  sandpiper  for  a  while.   But  I 

really  don't  have  a  logo.   I  keep  thinking  I'm  going  to 

design  one,  but  I  never  have.   Now,  where  did  that  get 

us?   Up  to  the  Weather  Bird  Press,  right? 

ZIEGLER:   Yes. 

GERRY:   Shall  I  go  on  with  that? 


32 


ZIEGLER:   Yes. 

GERRY:   In  about  1968  I  went  to —  I  talked  my  wife  into 
going  down--  I  wanted  to  live  at  the  beach,  and  I  was  going 
to  quit  my  job  and  I  was  going  to  make  a  successful 
printing  company  out  of  this.   So  every  Wednesday  I'd  go 
out  and  sell,  which  I  had  no  idea  how  to  do.   I  would  just 
go  visit  people.   I  did  have  one  pretty  good  account  from  a 
friend  who  had  a  company  that  made  heart  valves  [Hancock 
Laboratories],  and  he  gave  me  a  lot  of  business.   But  what 
I  wanted  to  do  was  be  like--  I  had  seen  Grant  and  Ward 
[Ritchie]  and  Haselton--  They  had  supported  their  book 
printing  by  commercial  printing.   So  I  was  going  to  not 
only  do  the  commercial  printing  to  pay  for  the  whole  thing, 
I  was  going  to  be  able  to  do  some  books  along  with  that. 
And  I  did.   I  printed  more  and  more  books.   And  the 
publications  that  I  did  were  money-making,  commercial 
printing. 

So,  really,  it  lasted  about  six  months.   The  studio 
called  me  and  they  said,  "If  you  come  back,  we'll  do  this 
and  that  and  make  these  concessions, "  and  so  on  and  so 
forth.   My  wife  didn't  like  Laguna,  or  didn't  like  the 
beach,  and  I  was  naturally  worried  that  I  wasn't  going  to 
be  able  to  keep  this  thing  going.   So  I  said,  "Okay,  we'll 
go  back,  and  I'll  go  back  to  work.   But  we're  going  to  buy 
a  house  and  it's  going  to  have  room  so  that  I  can  have  all 


33 


this  equipment  and  have  this  shop  in  the  backyard.   Now, 
that's  my  deal."   Okay.   So  we  looked  around  until  we  found 
the  house  which  you  saw  the  other  day.   That  was  1969  or 
'70.   I  moved  in  and  I  had  a  garage  built  and  had  all  my 
equipment  moved  up  from  Laguna,  and  the  press  stayed  there 
for  another  ten  years.   And  I  did  it  on  my  spare  time,  just 
about  like  today.   So  I  worked  there  for  quite  a  while  in 
the  shop  in  the  backyard,  which  was  about  six  hundred 
square  feet.   So  there  was  room  for  everything.   I  even  had 
a  small  horizontal  cylinder  press  that  would  print  a  sheet 
22"  X  28".   I  used  that  for  a  while,  but  it  wasn't  very 
good.   Finally  I  got  rid  of  it  and  got  a  large  Vandercook 
that  would  print  about  a  19"  X  25"  sheet.   That  was  my  best 
press.   It  was  a  hand-operated,  but  it  would  still--  Got 
some  of  my  best  work  out  of  that. 

Then  in  about  1977,  I  moved  to  Fallbrook  and  I  built  a 
house.   It  was  a  very  small  house  with  an  eight-hundred- 
square-  foot  shop.   At  that  time  I  had  just  retired  from 
work,  and  I  felt  I  had  enough  to  just  barely  get  by  on.   I 
could  run  my  shop  and  do  what  I  wanted  to  do!   Which  I  did 
for  about  two  years,  and  those  were  a  good  two  years.   Did 
a  lot  of  work.   Then  I  went  into  partnership  with  Patrick 
Reagh  in  1980.   He  talked  me  into  becoming  his  partner. 
Meanwhile,  I  had  gone  back  to  the  studio  a  couple  of  times 
to  pick  up  another  grubstake.   They  were  very  good  about 


34 


taking  me  back  on  projects  they  had.   So  Pat  and  I  became 
partners--that  lasted  about  a  year.   And  so  now  all  my 
equipment  was  divided  up  between  Pat's  and  what  was  left 
down  in  Fallbrook.   So  I  guess  I  rearranged  another  shop 
down  in  Fallbrook,  but  I  remodeled  the  house  so  the  shop 
was  much  smaller  now.   What  had  been  a  shop,  I  turned  into 
bedrooms . 

Then,  two  or  three  years  ago,  I  decided  I  didn't  want 
to  live  in  the  country  anymore.   I  hadn't  done  all  the 
things  I  had  thought  I  was  going  to  do  with  the  house  and 
the  property.   So  I  gave  all  my  equipment  to  Ray  Ballish, 
who  is  a  collector  out  at  the  Orange  Empire  [Railway] 
Museum.   He  came  and  picked  it  all  up,  the  machinery  and  so 
on  I  had,  and  took  it  to  a  storage  in  Paris.   He  one  day 
hoped  to  have  a  museum  building  there.   So  that's  where  the 
stuff  is.   I  mean  my  equipment.   I  was  going  to  give  it  up 
and  be  a  painter  of  watercolors  and  not  be  bothered  with 
machinery  and  printing.   So  that  lasted  about  two  years, 
two  or  three  years.   Ray  had  set  it  up  so  we  could  work  in 
Paris.   He  had  a  little  operating  printshop  there.   Paris, 
California,  down  by  Riverside.   In  case  you  were  thinking 
it  was  Paris,  France. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  I  was  wondering. 

GERRY:   So  that  lasted  about  two  years,  I  guess.   Recently, 
I  built  a  shop  again  in  the  backyard. 


35 


ZIEGLER:   So  you  found  you  missed  printing? 
GERRY:   Right.   I  wanted  to  get  another  Linotype  and  a 
press.   There  were  some  manuscripts  that  came  my  way  that  I 
was  interested  in.   Although  I  haven't  done  them.   So  here 
I  am  again,  back  with  a  little  printshop.   I  have  a 
Washington  handpress  that  I  borrowed,  and  I  have  a  C4 
typesetting  machine  and  a  few  cases  of  type  and  a  board 
shear  and  a  table,  and  that's  about  it.   And  a  large 
cabinet  to  hold  all  the  miscellaneous  junk. 
ZIEGLER:   What  are  the  manuscripts? 

GERRY:   Well,  the  first  thing  that  got  me  interested--and 
made  me  want  to  be  a  printer  again- -was  Jane  Apostol ' s 
manuscript  for  the  biography  of  Olive  Percival,  who  was  an 
interesting  California  book  woman,  who  died,  I  guess,  in 
the  forties.   She  [wrote]  a  very  interesting  story  about 
this  very  amazing  woman,  very  creative  and  loved  books. 
Spent  her  whole  life--or  I  think  most  of  her  whole  life-- 
taking  care  of  her  mother.   She  built  a  little  house  over 
in  Highland  Park.   She  worked  for  an  insurance  company  all 
of  her  life--or  the  latter  part  of  her  life,  thirty  years  I 
think--and  financed  all  her  book  collecting  and  her  house 
on  her  small  salary.   Anyway,  so  that  was  interesting  and  I 
wanted  to  do  that.   But  then,  of  course,  I  didn't  have  a 
shop. 

There  was  an  ad  in  the  paper  for  a  Colt ' s  Armory 


36 


press,  which  was  the  kind  of  press  I  had  tried  to  get  when 
I  very  first  started  and  instead  I  had  to  buy  a  Miehle 
vertical.   But  the  Colt's  Armory  press  is  like  a  heavy-duty 
platen  press,  like  a  job  press.   It  has  a  tremendous  amount 
of  strength.   You  could  print  four  pages  on  it  at  four 
pages  up  and  have  some  kind  of  control  over  it.   But  I 
could  never  find  one.   So  that  was  the  other  thing  that 
made  me  want  to  start  printing  again.   A  guy  had  one  for 
sale,  although  I  didn't  get  it.   I  kept  thinking  I  would 
get  one,  so  I  was  tricked  back  into  printing. 
ZIEGLER:   [laughter]   Well,  it  sounds  like  it  really  was 
hard  to  give  it  up. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Well,  as  Mr.  Haselton  always  used  to  say, 
"You  know,  printing  gets  in  your  blood  and  you  never  get  it 
out!   Ha-ha-ha,  you're  going  to  get  it  in  your  blood  one  of 
these  days  and  it  will  never  get  out."   And,  you  know,  he 
was  just  joking  around,  but  he  was  sort  of  right.   People 
who  have  ever  fooled  around  with  printing  always  either 
remember  it  with  fondness  or  keep  going  back  to  it. 
ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  had  a  lot  of  fun  printing  here  at  the 
library  school. 

GERRY:   Oh,  with  Diana  [Thomas]? 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   They  have  that  press,  the  Harmar?   What's  it 
called?   Is  it  the  Harmar  press? 


37 


ZIEGLER:   I'm  afraid  I'm  bad  at  remembering  names. 
GERRY:   It  was  a  handpress,  wasn't  it?   Like  this? 
ZIEGLER:   I  had  some  unpleasant  experiences  with  the  platen 
press.   I  had  a  terrible  time  getting  that  to  work  right 
for  me.   I  remember  reading  something  you  wrote  about.   In 
South  Laguna  you  could  take  a  break  from  kicking  the  platen 
jobber  and  go  out  and  watch  the  whales  migrate.   I  really 
identified  with  the  feeling! 

GERRY:   Well,  by  kicking  I  meant--  It  was  a  treadle 
press.   It  operated  like  a  sewing  machine;  that's  why  they 
called  that  kicking.   But  they  probably  kick  it  for  other 
reasons,  too. 

ZIEGLER:   The  one  I  used  didn't  actually  have  to  be 
treadled.   But  I  felt  the  urge  to  kick  it  for  other  reasons 
at  times!   [laughter] 

GERRY:   Well,  printing  is  terribly  frustrating.   Like  I 
say,  I  was  ready  to  give  it  all  up  and  get  away  from  it. 
Just  do  something  simple  where  what  you  needed  you  could 
carry  in  a  little  package  in  your  car:   some  pieces  of 
paper  and  some  paints.   But  in  order  to  print  you  have  to 
have  this  machinery  that  costs  a  fortune  to  move  and  then 
is  impossible  to  get  rid  of  because  nobody  wants  it  anymore 
when  you  have  to  get  rid  of  it.   So  there  I  am,  trapped 
back  into  it!   I've  got  the  shop  so  it  operates  now. 
Tomorrow  I'm  going  to  start  setting  type  on  the  first 


38 


project,  which  is  a  supplement  to  the  book  I  printed  called 
The  San  Pasqual  Press;  [A  Dream  Nearly  Realized] ,  about  the 
San  Pasqual  Press.   Since  I  printed  the  book  I  found  out 
more  information,  and  I'm  going  to  do  this  supplement. 
ZIEGLER:   So  you've  really  gotten  to  know  a  lot  about  the 
history  of  printing  in  the  Los  Angeles  area,  haven't  you? 
You  did  the  book  on  the  San  Pasqual  Press,  and  you  did  a 
book  on  House  Olson. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  right.   I  guess  so,  but  I  also  think  I'm 
probably  more  interested  because  of  all  the  writing  Ward 
Ritchie  did  about  the  printers  of  Los  Angeles.   If  I  got 
interested  in  it,  it  was  because  of  his  writing  about  the 
printers  of  Los  Angeles  as  well  as  the  other  bookmen  of  Los 
Angeles . 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  I'd  like  to  talk  a  little  more  later  on 
about  the  whole  Los  Angeles  book  scene,  but  I  wonder  if  now 
we  could  talk  some  about  the  books  you've  printed.   How  do 
you  chose  what  books  to  print? 

GERRY:   Oh,  let's  see.   When  I  first  started  I  could  never 
find  anything  to  print.   I  know  it  sounds  strange  but  I 
really  couldn't,  other  than  reprinting  Gray's  "Elegy"  or 
something  like  that.   I  mean,  that  was  what  was 
available.   And  so  Pall  [W.]  Bohne--who  you've  probably 
heard  of  as  a  printer,  although  he  hasn't  printed  anything 
for  a  long  time--said,  "Oh,  you  have  to  write  your  own 


39 


stuff."   I  said,  "What!   Wait  a  minute,  I  don't  know  how  to 
write."   "Well,  I  just  wrote  my  book  on  whaling  in  one 
evening."   And  he  made  it  sound  very  easy.   So  I  forget 
what  I  wrote.   Maybe  that's  when  I  wrote--  No.   I  guess  the 
first  thing  I  wrote  was  my  experiences  as  a  boy  printer 
with  Grant  Dahlstrom  [Some  Fond  Remembrances  of  a  Boy 
Printer  at  the  Castle  Press] .   So  that  was  one  that  I 
wrote.   He  wanted  me  to  write  other  things,  but  I  can't 
remember  right  offhand  any  others  that  I  wrote.   I  should 
have  a  list  of  the  books  here. 

When  I  choose  a  book,  it's  usually  a  subject  I  like. 
I  kind  of  like  to  do  cookbooks  and  books  on  printing.   Or 
original  things,  like  Jane's.   I  did  a  little  booklet.  Will 
Bradley,  that  Jane  Apostol  had  written.   I  did  that.   That 
was  original,  and  I  would  really  much  rather  do  original 
things.   Then  I  did  that  M.  F.  K.  Fisher  story.  The 
Standing  and  the  Waiting,  because  it  was  a  story  I  very 
much  liked.   I  fantasized  me  illustrating  it  for  years.   It 
took  years  to  get  the  rights  to  do  it,  although  Mrs.  Fisher 
wanted  me  to  do  it.   But  she  had  no  control  over  the 
rights,  and  it  was  impossible  to  find  out  who  had  the 
rights.   Then  to  have  them  sell  you  the  rights  is  even 
another  problem,  because  there  is  not  enough  money  in  it 
for  them . 
ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  saw  some  of  your  correspondence  in  your 


40 


papers  at  the  Clark.   You  were  having  trouble  finding  out 
who  had  the  rights  to  it. 

GERRY:   But  Susan  King  helped  me  on  that.   She  said, 
"You've  got  to  get  ahold  of  her  agent  and  force  him. 
You've  got  to  be  aggressive."   Well,  I  don't  think  I'd  ever 
called  New  York  in  my  life,  but  she  said,  "You've  got  to 
call  him  and  tell  him.   You've  just  got  to  be  aggressive, 
or  he'll  just  avoid  you."   So  I  finally  got  this  guy  on  the 
phone.   I  couldn't  believe  it!   It's  like  being  in  the 
Powell  Library  and  also  knowing  a  guy  named  Larry  Powell . 
[laughter]   Susan  was  right.   I  had  to  get  the  guy  and 
twist  his  arm,  and  he  finally  said,  "No,  I  don't  know  who 
the  heck's  got  them,  but  you  might  try  Macmillan 
[Publishing  Company]."   So  then  I  finally  called  Macmillan, 
and  once  you  get  somebody's  name,  you've  got  half  a  chance 
of  getting  through.   I  learned  that.   So  I  got  some  help 
from  Susan--and  also  from  Herb  Yellin--on  how  to  get  rights 
to  publish  things.   Herb  Yellin  and  the  Lord  John  Press. 
He  does  nothing  but  reprinting  of  American  authors'  work. 
ZIEGLER:   Could  you  talk  a  little  about  your  collaboration 
with  Herb  Yellin?   You  did  three  or  four  different  books 
for  the  Lord  John  Press,  didn't  you? 

GERRY:   Yeah.   I  think  one  of  the  best  books  I  have  ever 
done  was  one  for  Herb.   It  was  when  I  was  in  Laguna.   No, 
no,  I  was  in  Fallbrook.   I  had  my  ideal  shop  attached  to  my 


41 


house,  and  he  called  me.   He  was  interested  in  getting 
different  California  printers  to  do  work  for  him,  and  he 
had--he  still  has--a  very  extensive  publishing  list.   Every 
year,  he  does  three  or  four  books.   So  I  said,  "Yes, 
indeed.   I  will  do  a  book  for  you."   And  that  was  John 
Cheever's  book,  a  reprint  of  a  story  in  the  New  Yorker 
called  "The  Day  the  Pig  Fell  in  the  Well."   That  was  the 
most  extensive  typesetting  I  had  done  up  to  that  time,  also 
the  most  careful.   I  was  very  careful  to  make  sure  it  was 
tightly  spaced  and  to  make  the  lines  as  tight  as  I  possibly 
could,  which  doesn't  give  you  much  speed  on  a  Linotype  or 
any  other  way.   But  I  think  it  was  my  best  job  of 
typesetting,  and  the  whole  book  turned  out  very  well.   I 
bound  about  fourteen  of  those--they  were  special  copies-- 
and  Bela  Blau  bound  the  rest.   That  was  my  first 
experience.   We  had  a  lot  of  fun,  and  he  liked  the  work 
very  well.   It's  nice  to  be  liked,  and  we  didn't  have  any 
arguments  or  fights  or  lawsuits  or  anything. 

He  had  another  book  later  on  that  he  wanted  me  to  do-- 
oh,  I  guess  it  was  by  James  Purdy--called  Proud  Flesh.   It 
was  about  six  plays  that  Purdy  had  written.   I  think  maybe 
one  of  them  had  never  been  performed.   That's  when  I  would 
go  up  to  Herb's  house  and  we  would  lie  around  the  living 
room.   He  had  another  fellow  who  worked  there  named  Bruce 
Francis,  and  we'd  talk  about  this.   Herb  liked  that,  to  lie 


42 


back  and  we'd  talk  about  how  we  were  going  to  make  the 

book.   It  was  very  nice,  pleasant. 

ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  saw  a  lot  of  your  sketches  for  these  at 

the  Clark. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah.   Well,  we  made  the  book,  and  I  did  a 

terrible  title  page,  which  I  apologized  to  him  for  later 

on.   I  said,  "I  owe  you  a  title  page."   But  it  was  one  of 

those  title  pages  that  I  had  fantasized,  and  drew  and 

sketched  and  fooled  around  and  fooled  around  till  I 

completely  ruined  it.   And  in  the  end  I  didn't  approve  of 

it,  although  Herb  didn't  seem  to  mind  it. 

ZIEGLER:   What  was  it  like? 

GERRY:   Oh,  it  was  some  sort  of  floating  drapes.   Sort  of 

Bermanesque  drapes  floating  around  a  couple  of  poles  that 

might  suggest  a  theater  stage  or  something,  and  then  the 

type  was  set  in  the  center  of  it.   It  just  didn't  come  off 

too  well. 

But  then  I  did  another  book  for  him  called  Out  of  the 
West:  [Poems  by  William  Everson,  Gary  Snyder,  Philip 
Levine,  Clayton  Eshleman  and  Jerome  Rothenberg] .   It  was 
California  poets.   The  endpapers  were  going  to  be  a  map  of 
California,  and  it  showed  where  every  poet  was.   It  also 
showed  where  the  publisher  was  and  the  printer  was.   He 
kept  wanting  me  to  put  my  name  on  there,  and  I  said,  "I'm 
not  a  poet.   You  didn't  put  your  name  under  publisher.   I'm 


43 


just  going  to  have  it  say  'printer,'  that's  all."   There 
was  this  map  in  the  endpapers  where  the  different  poets  and 
the  publisher  and  the  printer  were  located.   It  was  sort  of 
cute.   And  the  poems  were  very,  very  nice.   That's  when  I-- 
Probably  some  of  the  first  known  California  poets  that  I'd 
ever  read.   Set  all  in  Janson.   That  turned  out  pretty 
good,  a  pretty  nice  job. 

I  think  those  were  the  only  three.   Then  when  I  was 
with  Pat  Reagh,  Pat  Reagh  and  I  did  a  number  of  things  for 
Herb  together.   There  was  one  we  did--  Oh,  a  lot  of  things, 
broadsides  too.   One  broadside  I  think  is  really  very  good 
by  Ursula  [K.]  LeGuin  called  Torrey  Pine  Reserve.   I  think 
it  really  turned  out  very  well.   I  had  been  up  to  see  a 
friend  in  Idyllwild,  and  I  had  my  sketchbook  out  and  I  was 
drawing  the  pine  trees.   And  I  said,  "I  have  this  job  that 
has  something  to  do  with  Torrey  pines."   So  my  friend, 
wiser  than  I,  said,  "Those  aren't  Torrey  pines!   Torrey 
pines  don't  look  like  that  at  all!"   I  said,  "Really? 
Heck. "   So  the  next  thing  I  did  was  go  to  Torrey  Pines, 
which  was  really  not  too  far  from  Fallbrook,  down  in  Del 
Mar.   I  went  to  Torrey  Pines  and  it  was  revealed  to  me  what 
a  beautiful  place  Torrey  Pines  was  as  I  hiked  through  there 
and  saw  what  the  real  pines  looked  like.   So  from  that  I 
made  a  linoleum  cut  that  may  or  may  not  look  like  Torrey 
pines,  but  it  looked  pretty  good.   And  that  was  a  nice 


44 


Job.   When  it  turns  out  well,  you're  pleased. 
ZIEGLER:   How  did  Herb  Yellin  get  started  with  the  Lord 
John  Press?   How  did  he  get  the  idea? 

GERRY:   I  really  don't  know.   He  was  in  love  with  [John] 
Updike.   And  there  were  so  many  writers  named  John  that  he 
wanted  to  call  his  press  the  Lord  John  Press  for  the  best 
writer  named  John.   He  had  published  a  newsletter  about 
Updike  for  quite  a  while.   He's  a  book  dealer  too.  Herb. 
He  sells  books  through  the  mail.   Antiquarian  and  first 
editions  stuff  mostly.   He's  a  great  first  edition 
collector.   So  I  guess  somewhere  along  the  line,  he  decided 
he  wanted  to  do  some  publishing.   For  a  while  he  was  just 
doing  that,  but  I  think  most  of  the  time  he  has  to 
subsidize  by  working  like  the  rest  of  us.   He  enjoyed 
meeting  the  authors,  because  he  usually  talks  to  them  in 
person.   He  says  he  doesn't,  but  that  must  be  something  to 
have  contact  with  them.   Of  course,  he  was  a  good  friend  of 
Updike's,  who  was  his  absolutely  favorite  writer.   He  has 
an  extensive  publication  policy  for,  you  know,  a  guy  who 
was  doing  it  for  a  sideline.   So  he  must  know  every  living 
American  author. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  it  sounds  like  it  would  be  thrilling. 
GERRY:   Pat  and  I  did  a  number  of  books  for  [Ralph] 
Sylvester  and  [Stathis]  Orphanos.   They're  Los  Angeles 
publishers  who  also  are  book  dealers.   They  also  publish 


45 


the  same  sort  of  thing  that  Herb  does,  which  is  usually 

something  like  a  reprint  of  a  well-known  author.   Although 

they  don't  limit  themselves  to  American  authors.   They  have 

a  lot  of  English  authors,  too.   We  did  quite  a  few  books 

for  them;  Pat  still  does  books  for  them.   In  fact,  I'm 

doing  some  illustrations  for  one  of  their  books  right  now. 

ZIEGLER:   What  is  it? 

GERRY:   I  can't  remember  what  it's  called,  but  it's  a 

little  travelogue  by  Graham  Greene  about  his  visit  to 

China.   Darn,  I  can't  remember  the  title.   It's  going  to  be 

a  miniature  book. 

ZIEGLER:   I  wanted  to  ask  you  to  describe  the  books  that 

were  the  greatest  pleasure  for  you  to  work  on  and  that 

you're  most  pleased  with. 

GERRY:   I  think  probably  the  one  I'm  most  pleased  with  was 

also  my  most  successful  book,  as  far  as  sales  go,  A^ 

Treatise  on  the  Art  and  Antiquity  of  Cookery  in  the  Middle 

Ages. 

ZIEGLER:   Yes,  that  is  very  handsome. 

GERRY:   Because  it  was  all  original.   It  was  written  by  a 

gal  [Rochelle  Lucky]  who  was  married  to  a  fellow  I  worked 

with,  and  we  got  together.   It  was  all  original  material 

that  she'd  done  for  a  master's  thesis.   So  she  rewrote  it 

for  me  to  publish  it,  as  we  did  in  the  little  two-volume 

book.   We  worked  a  long  time  on  it,  because  first  of  all 


46 


she  had  to  rewrite  it,  and  I  kept  thinking,  "Well,  she 
won't  do  it.   People  say  they'll  do  it,  but  they  won't." 
But  not  her.   She  really  did  it.   But  then  halfway  through 
she  had  a  baby,  and  that  held  her  up  for  some  time.   So  the 
book  was  actually  in  the  works  for  years  before  it  was 
finally  finished.   Everybody  liked  it,  and  it  sold  very 
well.   I  forget  how  many  we  did,  maybe  150  or  200.   It's 
all  out  of  print  now.   That  was,  I  guess,  my  favorite  one. 
ZIEGLER:   What  were  some  of  your  other  favorites? 
GERRY:   The  one  I  did  for  Herb  by  John  Cheever,  The  Day  the 
Pig  Fell  in  the  Well.   That,  I  think,  came  out  very  well. 
I  think  I  have  it  written  down  here.   Then  I  did  a  little 
book  called  Topography  of  the  Castle  Press,  [circa  1943, 
and  Other  Dim  Recollections] .   I  wrote  that  and  I  drew  this 
map.   I  mean,  I  say  I  wrote  it--there's  probably  three 
pages  of  type.   But  there  was  this  map  of  how  I  remembered 
the  Castle  Press.   At  the  time  I  thought  it  was  very 
original,  but  I  must  have  gotten  the  idea  from  this  fellow 
who'd  worked  for  the  Woolfs,  Virginia  and  Leonard  Woolf, 
and  their  Hogarth  Press.   Because  if  you  look--  His  name 
was  [Richard]  Kennedy  I  believe.   In  his  book  of 
remembrances,  he  draws  a  map  of  the  Hogarth  Press.   So  that 
might  be  where  I  got  the  idea.   I  get  all  these  ideas  that 
I  think  are  so  original  and  discover  that  I've  seen  them 
somewhere  else. 


47 


So  it  was  a  big  foldout  map.   I  was  over  to  see  Grant 
one  day,  and  I  said,  "What  was  this  part?   What  was 
here?"   He  couldn't  remember.   And  he  said,  "That's  kind  of 
interesting.   I'll  tell  you  what,  I'll  print  that  map  for 
you."   Because  it  was  so  long,  we  figured  out  how  wide  his 
biggest  press  was,  and  it  was  like  thirty-six  inches  or 
something,  so  I  drew  it  to  fit  that  size.   He  offered  to 
print  it  for  me,  which  was--  I  don't  know  how  else  I  would 
have  done  it.   I  would  have  had  to  pay  somebody,  which  is 
all  right  too.   I  didn't  mind  that,  but  it  was  nice.   It 
showed  that  he  liked  the  project.   He  didn't  think  it  was 
silly.   He  wasn't  ashamed  to  be  associated  with  me  and  this 
book,  thin  book- -all  my  books  are  very  thin. 

So  the  night  they  were--  He  had  sold  the  press.   They 
had  an  open  house  and  they  had  all  the  presses  going,  and 
the  largest  press  was  printing  these  maps.   They  decided  to 
do  them  that  night,  and  it  just  coincidentally  worked 
out.   So  they  were  printing  all  these  maps  of  the  old 
Castle  Press  down  on  Union  Street,  and,  of  course,  this  was 
the  new  Castle  Press,  which  was  up  on  Fair  Oaks  [Avenue] 
and  was  very  modern  and  up-to-date.   It  had  fancy  presses 
and  clean  rooms  and  well-dressed  employees!   [laughter]   So 
they  must  have  run  off  thousands  and  thousands  of  that  map 
that  night.   And  people  were  coming  around  and  asking  me  to 
sign  it,  and  it  was  kind  of  impressive.   Anyway,  I  think 


48 


that  turned  out  typographically  to  be  one  of  the  best 

books.   And  also  as  a  book  of  remembrances,  I  like  it.   And 

the  fact  that  it  has  more--  I  like  books  that  have  little 

extra  things  in  them  like  foldouts  or  tipped-in  pictures, 

that  aren't  just  all  type.   And  let's  see,  what  else  do  I 

have  here?   You  know,  we  should  do  this  again  when  I  have  a 

list  of  books  in  front  of  me. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  I  have  a  stack  of 

cards  here . 

GERRY:   Oh,  really! 


49 


TAPE  NUMBER:   II,  SIDE  ONE 
APRIL  20,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   So  you're  looking  at  the  list  I  compiled  of  the 
books  that  you've  printed.   I  know  that  this  list  isn't 
complete,  so  any  that  you  want  to  add--  I'd  be  delighted  to 
hear  your  comments  on  any  of  these  and  your  memories  of 
working  on  them. 

GERRY:   Well,  you've  done  really  a  lot  of  work  to  round 
these  all  up.   I  mean,  I  often  think  of  doing  this  myself, 
and  I  never  have.   We  talked  about  the  topography,  and  you 
said  that  we  should  keep  in--  I  thought  we  should  never 
talk  about  [Sheikh  Nefzawi's]  Bahloul  and  Hamdouna,  which 
is  an  excerpt  from  The  Perfumed  Garden,  which  was  a 
pornographic,  or  whatever,  erotic  tale  printed  by  the 
Weather  Bird  Press  for  a  while,  for  what  reason  I  can't 
remember  now.   I  guess  I  saw  it  as  a  vehicle  for  some 
illustrations.   It  was  like  a  onetime  experience.   I  have 
no  inclination  to  print  any  more  pornographic  books! 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  but  I  thought  it  was  a  beautifully  designed 
book.   The  choice  of  colors,  the  sort  of  glaring  purple  and 
the  flesh-colored  pink,  was  absolutely  perfect  for  the 
subject!   And  the  way  you  designed  the  letters  they  looked 
very--  Well,  you  know,  they  looked  like  what  the  book  was 
about ! 
GERRY:   Right.   Well,  I  did  enjoy  doing  that.   The  sort  of 

50 


interesting  way  I  did  the  cover.   I  covered  papers.   I  just 
sort  of  took  a  screwdriver  and  just  bashed  a  design  into  a 
block  of  pine,  and  then  I  put  that  in  the  press--type  high-- 
and  printed  the  cover  papers  from  that.   It  was  rather 
crude,  but  it  made  sort  of  an  Eastern  design  on  it. 
ZIEGLER:   As  I  remember,  the  cover  is  sort  of  a  floral 
design,  which  at  the  same  time  suggest  genitals. 
GERRY:   Oh,  I  don't  know  if  I  did  that  on  the  cover.   But 
in  the  title  page  I  did  a  design  that  sort  of  suggested 
that.   And  what  else  was  I  going  to  say  about  the  book? 
Urn,  yes,  the  illustrations  were  all  cut  linoleum.   Well,  I 
guess  that's  about  enough  for  that  one.   Oh,  I  know  what  I 
was  about  to  say.   This  was  one  of  the  first  books  I  sent 
to  the  private  press  people,  Roderick  Cave,  in  England. 
They  put  out  a  catalog  every  year  of  the  work  of  private 
presses,  and  I  sent  them  a  copy  of  this.   And  they,  lo  and 
behold,  published  the  title  page  in  their  catalog,  which  I 
am  really  more  impressed  with  each  time  I  see  the  fact  that 
they  did  that .   Because  now  I  don ' t  know  how  I  would  ever 
get  them  to  print  a  title  page  of  mine.   There's  so  much 
competition.   So  it  was  a  nice  title  page,  even  I'll  admit 
that.   Just  the  subject  was  questionable.   I  did  want  them-- 
I  wrote  a  book  under  the  pseudonym  of  Bunston  Quayles. 
ZIEGLER:   Oh,  that's  interesting  to  know.   I  was  very 
impressed  with  that  book.   Did  you  also  do  the  takeoff s  on 


51 


the  styles  of  the  different  artists  in  there? 

GERRY:   Right,  right.   I  don't  know  how  I  got  this  idea, 

because  this  was  another  book  that  was  in  the  works  for  a 

very  long,  long  time  off  and  on.   It  was  called  Miniatures 

on  Modern  Artists:  [Some  Notes] .   I  made  interpretations  of 

these  famous  artist's  works.   There  was  Modigliani, 

Matisse,  Bonnard,  and  others. 

ZIEGLER:   Right  on  the  mark  I  thought.   You  really  got  the 

essentials  of  the  different  styles. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  and  I  did  it  without  actually  reproducing  any 

of  the  real  pictures,  so  there  were  no  problems  with 

copyright.   I  discovered  to  do  other  than  the  modern 

artists  was  much  too  difficult  to  do  in  a  line  technique, 

which  most  of  those  works--  Some  of  them  are  halftones,  but 

most  of  them  are  done  in  a  line  technique.   So  I  finally 

got  rid  of  Rembrandt  and  some  of  the  other  older  artists 

and  stuck  strictly  with  the  modern  artists,  because  it  was 

easier  to  reproduce  pictures  that  represented  them.   So 

that  little  book  I  thought  was  kind  of  cute.   It  was  a 

miniature  coffee  table  book.   But,  oddly  enough,  it's  never 

sold  very  well. 

ZIEGLER:   What's  it  like  printing  miniature  books?   Is  it 

harder  than  printing  regular  books? 

GERRY:   Yes,  miniatures  are  a  terrible  pain.   Everyone 

hates  them  who  has  to  print  them,  except  maybe  those  people 


52 


who  are  attuned.   That's  all  they  do  is  miniature  books. 
But  if  you  are  a  large  printer  and  do  large  printing,  to  go 
down  and  do  miniature  books  is  difficult.   Because  the 
smaller  you  make  it,  the  more  critical  everything  is,  and 
the  binding  is  the  worst  part.   It  only  has  to  be  off  the 
width  of  a  pen  line  and  it  is  noticeable  to  the  person  who 
looks  at  the  book.   Where  a  larger  book  can  be  off  an 
eighth  of  an  inch  and  nobody's  going  to  notice.   So  it's 
all  critical  and  it  all  takes  little  tiny  fingers  and 
patience.   But  it  can  be  done  on  the  kitchen  table.   So  in 
that  respect  the  miniatures  are  okay. 

ZIEGLER:   Then  there  was  another  book  by  Bunston  Quayles, 
who  I  now  know  is  you,  about  miniature  books.   Printed  for 
Dawson's  Book  Shop,  I  think. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yes,  I  remember  that.   A  Picture  Book  of 
Chickens  is  a  miniature  book.   The  reason  that  was  printed 
was  because  a  friend  of  mine,  who  was  a  machinery  dealer 
named  Ernie  [Ernest  A.]  Lindner,  had  bought  a  print shop 
that  had  belonged  to  a  man  who  had  published  The  Poultry 
Journal.   I  think  that's  what  it  was.   And  this  man  had  for 
years  and  years  set  the  type  by  hand  and  printed  this 
little  paper  for  poultry  people.   Finally  he  was  too  old  to 
do  that  anymore,  so  he  gave  up  the  paper  and  he  sold  all 
the  stuff  to  Ernie.   And  Ernie  had  this  huge  box  of  chicken 
cuts,  and  by  "cuts"  I  mean  photoengravings  of  chickens  that 


53 


were  all  type  high  that  this  man  had  used  over  the  years  to 
print  The  Poultry  Journal.   So  I  said,  "Hey,  let  me  borrow 
this."   And  I  picked  through  and  got  out  the  smallest  and 
nicest  ones  I  could.   I  said,  "I'll  make  a  little  book  of 
chickens  out  of  this."   Then  in  the  library  I  tried  to 
identify  which  kind  of  chicken  was  which.   I'm  not  sure  I 
was  too  successful  in  identifying  the  chickens,  but  it  made 
a  cute  little  book,  now  out  of  print. 
ZEIGLER:   It  did. 

GERRY:   This  was  one  Dawson's  had  me  do,  the  Bibliography 
of  Cheney  Miniatures.   William  Cheney  is  himself  a  printer 
of  miniature  books  in  Los  Angeles,  and  Glen  [Dawson]  had  me 
do  this.   I  think  it  came  out  pretty  good.   Carey  [S.] 
Bliss  was  the  one  who  put  it  all  together.   It  was  set  in 
6-point  Falcon  on  the  Linotype.   Setting  miniatures  on  a 
Linotype  is  pretty  hard  because  of  the  spacing,  but  it  came 
out  pretty  well. 

Flowers  on  a  Table:  [A  Study  of  an  Imprudent  Wood 
Engraving] ,  that  was  a  silly  thing.   It  was  one  of  my  first 
wood  engravings.   I  just  kept  cutting  away  at  this  wood 
engraving  till  I  finally  ruined  it,  so  I  just  kept  cutting 
it  away  until  it  finally  disappeared,  and  the  last  page  is 
blank.   So  you  could  see  it  deteriorate  before  your  eyes. 
ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  enjoyed  that  book.   It  was  fun. 
GERRY:   This  was  Ernest  Lindner  again  [The  Ernest  A. 


54 


Lindner  Collection  of  Antique  Printing  Machinery] .   He  had 
done  some  work  for  me  as  a  dealer.   I'd  bought  some  things 
from  him  and  he  had  rebuilt  some  matrices  for  me,  and  so 
on.   So  I  knew  him.   And  then  in  his  shop  in  downtown  L.A., 
he  had  this  vast  collection  of  antique  printing  machinery 
that  he  had  assembled.   So  I  said,  "Say,  Ernie,  we  ought  to 
make  a  book  about  this."   So  in  1971  this  was,  I  got  a 
friend  of  mine  and  we  got  together  and  Ernie  helped  us  and 
we  photographed--in  a  number  of  lengthy  sessions — all  these 
presses  and  the  other  equipment  he  had  and  made  this  book, 
which  I  had  printed  offset  by  a  trade  printer.   I  set  the 
type  for  it  and  laid  it  out.   I  think  I  bound  most  of  them 
myself. 

And  Rochelle  Lucky,  A  Treatise  on  the  Art  and 
Antiquity  of  Cookery  in  the  Middle  Ages.   We  discussed  that 
earlier,  but  that  was  one  of  my  better  efforts  I  think. 
Some  of  them  I  bound,  and  then  later  on  I  was  rich  enough 
to  have  Earl  Gray  Bindery  do  them. 

Louise  Seymour  Jones,  A  Tussle  Mussie.  This  was  an 
excerpt  from  a  book  that  Ward  [Ritchie]  had  printed  called 
Who  Loves  a  Garden.  I  just  loved  the  way  this  woman  wrote 
about  gardens  and  about  anything,  so  I  got  permission  from 
Ward  and  Jake  [Zeitlin],  who  had  published  it.  I  think  it 
was  a  Primavera  Press  book  printed  sometime  in  the 
thirties.   So  Jake  said,  "Well,  I  think  it's  only  decent  of 


55 


you  to  get  permission."   I  said,  "But  she's  been  long 
dead!"   He  said,  "Well,  here's  the  name  of  her  son."   So  I 
talked  to  her  son  and  he  was  very  glad  to  let  me  do  it  if  I 
would  give  him  a  few  copies.   And  that  was  a  nice  little 
book.   I  did  a  wood  engraving  for  that  and  bound  it  in 
cloth,  a  little  flowered  cloth  I  got  from  the  yardage 
store. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  remember  seeing  where  you  had  tried  out 
different  patterns  of  cloth  to  see  which  worked  best. 
GERRY :   The  San  Pasqual  Press;  [A  Dream  Nearly  Realized] . 
I  wrote  this  book  because  David  W.  Davies  was  writing  a 
number  of  books  about  Los  Angeles  printers  and  mostly 
published  by  Dawson's.   I  wanted  him  to  do  it  and  he  died 
before  I  could  really  get  him  interested  in  it.   So  then  I 
thought  Ward  should  write  it  because  he  had  written  a 
little  bit  about  the  press  earlier,  and  no,  he  wouldn't  do 
it.   So  I  kept  asking  around,  and  finally  I  ended  up  doing 
it,  because  I  became  very  interested  in  the  San  Pasqual 
Press.   And,  like  I've  said  earlier,  the  first  project  of 
my  new  press  is  to  print  a  supplement  to  this,  since  I 
found  out  only  after  I  printed  the  book  that  there's  more 
information,  which  I'll  include  myself. 
ZIEGLER:   I  think  all  authors  find  that  out. 
GERRY:   John  Gerry  and  His  Descendants,  I  just  did  this. 
My  father  [Francis  B.  Gerry]  and  I  did  this  as  a  family 


56 


tree,  and  that's  about  that. 

The  Standing  and  the  Waiting  was  a  book  I  dreamed 
about  for  a  long  time  written  by  M.  F.  K.  Fisher,  one  of  my 
favorite  authors.   I  fantasized  for  years  about  the 
illustrations  I  was  going  to  make  for  it.   They  were  going 
to  be  pochoir  stencil  illustrations  I'd  do  in  watercolor. 
I  made  sketches  and  made  sketches  and  designed  the  book 
over  and  over.   Finally  I  talked  to  Herb  [Yellin]  and  said, 
"How  am  I  going  to  get  permission  to  do  this?"   And  so  he 
was  the  one  who  introduced  me  to  getting  permissions.   So  I 
began  to  write  to  Mrs.  Fisher,  and  she  was  enthusiastic  and 
she  sent  me  an  enthusiastic  letter.   So  I  included  these 
letters  that  she  sent  me,  with  her  hearty  approval  of  me 
doing  the  book,  to  the  publishers  and  to  the  agents,  and 
they  did  nothing.   And  she  said,  "I  called  the  agent,  I 
talked  to  the  agent,  my  agent,  and  he  would  do  nothing  for 
me."   She  would  tell  him  to  do  something  but  he  wouldn't. 
There  was  no  money  involved,  and  I  think  that  the  final 
rights  cost  $600  to  do  the  book.   I  finally  got  ahold  of  a 
person  at  Macmillan,  sent  them  a  sample  of  what  I  intended 
to  do  and  $600,  and  they  said  okay. 

ZIEGLER:   Is  that  a  fairly  common  problem  for  small 
presses?   Difficulty  in  getting  permission  because  maybe 
it's  not  a  big,  money-making  project? 
GERRY:   I  think  maybe  that's  the  reason.   But  they  would 


57 


never  answer  my  letters.   I  had  to  finally  get  them  on  the 
phone.   I  wanted  to  do  another  story  of  hers  called 
"Feminine  Ending, "  which  is  really  a  beautiful  sort  of  love 
story.   So  I  started  out  again — now  knowing  how  to  get 
permission--to  do  this  book  with  her  letter  of  approval, 
and  I  gave  up.   They  finally  traced  the  people  who  I 
thought  had  the  permission,  but  they  didn't  have  the  record 
of  it.   I  gave  up. 

A.  J.  Corrigan,  A  Sharp  Criticism  [of  Nineteenth 
Century  Letter-Forms] ,  that  was  another  little  booklet  that 
I  did.   I  had  just  got  my  first  decent  Linotype  face  called 
Fairfield,  and  I  tried  it  out  on  that.   That's  still  in 
print. 

Sam  Davis,  The  Typographical  Howitzer.   Everybody  does 
The  Typographical  Howitzer.   It  was  one  of  my  first  books; 
it  wasn't  very  good. 

ZIEGLER:   That  was  a  fun  story  to  read. 
GERRY:   Yeah.   It  wasn't  a  very  good  book.   I  bound  it 
myself.   The  covers  were  much  too  thick,  they  were  like 
plywood.   Jane  Apostol  and  I  did  this  [Will  Bradley] .   I 
met  her  through  her  sister  and  I  said,  "You  know,  I'm 
looking  for  things  that  people  have  written."   She  said, 
"Well,  I  wrote  this  thing  about  Will  Bradley."   And  since 
then  she ' s  written  quite  a  few  other  things  and  been 
published  all  over.   So  we  did  this  little  Will  Bradley 


58 


booklet.   Grant  Dahlstrom  knew  Will  Bradley  when  he  was  out 
here — he  lived  in  California  at  the  end  of  his  life  and 
frequented  Grant's  shop--and  Grant  loaned  me  a  number  of 
cuts  that  I  could  use  that  Bradley  had  done  for  him. 

The  Everyday  Gourmet  was  a  little  cookbook  I  did  for 
some  friends  of  mine  [Daniel  and  Betty  Bailey]  when  I  was 
going  around  seeking  material  for  people  to  give  me  to 
print.   I  would  ask  everybody  I  knew,  and  they  said,  "Well, 
we'll  do  a  cookbook  for  you."   So  they  did. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  you  do  the  illustrations  for  that? 
GERRY:   Yes,  and  those  were  pen  drawings.    Usually  I 
illustrate  them  myself,  because,  after  all,  I  went  to  art 
school  and  why  should  I  waste  my  free  talent?   I  would  like 
to  have  other  artists  sometimes,  but  usually  when  I  try  to 
get  somebody  to  do  it,  they  have  so  many  reasons  why  they 
can't  or  they  don't  do  it  the  way  I  want  that  I  end  up 
doing  it  myself,  which  is  just  laziness  and  ego  probably. 
ZIEGLER:   You  should  give  yourself  credit  in  the  books 
though. 

GERRY:   Oh,  I  think  I  do. 

ZIEGLER:   As  I  looked  at  them,  often  it  looked  like  your 
style  and  I  thought  you  had  probably  illustrated  it,  but  I 
couldn't  find  where  it  said. 

GERRY:   "Written,  directed,  and  produced  by"  is  sort  of 
annoying.   I  mean,  my  name's  in  there  once  already. 


59 


[laughter] 

Pall  [W.]  Bohne,  A  Unique  1824  Columbian  Press.   This 
was  a  press  that  Ernie  Lindner  got,  and  we  had  it  at  a 
bookfair  at  the  Ambassador  [Hotel].   Ernie  was  showing  it 
off.   It  has  some  unique  thing  about  it  which  I  can't 
remember,  and  Pall  wrote  a  little  article  and  we  printed 
it.   That  was  just  an  eight-page  booklet. 

Walt  [Walter]  Stanchfield  is  an  artist  I  worked  with. 
ZIEGLER:   At  [Walt]  Disney  Studio? 

GERRY:   Yes,  he's  been  at  Disney  even  longer  than  I  have. 
He  moved  away  to  the  Santa  Ynez  Valley  and  did  a  lot  of 
woodcuts.   And  I  said,  "Well,  woodcuts  are  my  medium.   I 
print  woodcuts.   Let's  do  a  book."   Oh,  I  know.   Then  he 
said,  "I  have  these  poems  I've  written."   And  I  said,  "Oh, 
really.   That's  good."   So  in  order  to  get  around  him  and 
his  poetry,  I  said,  "Make  me  some  woodcuts  to  go  with  the 
poetry  and  I'll  print  the  book,"  thinking  I  wouldn't  hear 
from  him  for  a  couple  of  years,  if  ever.   And  in  about  a 
month  all  the  woodcuts  arrived  plus  the  poetry.   I  printed 
this  on  a  handpress.   It  was  the  first  time  that  I  had  used 
an  Albion  hand-held  press  that  Lindner  loaned  me.   It  was  a 
terrible  job.   It  took  me  a  whole  month  working  about  eight 
to  twelve  hours  a  day  every  day  of  the  week  to  do  that,  to 
print  that  book .   I  don ' t  know  about  handpresses .   I ' ve  got 
another  one  now. 


60 


ZIEGLER:   Is  it  pretty  hard  to  print  woodcuts  on  any  kind 

of  press? 

GERRY:   I  was  very  lucky  with  Walt's.   Both  books  of  his  I 

did  were  woodcuts  that  printed  very  well.   That  was  just 

luck.   Usually  they  would  be —  Of  course,  I  used  lots  of 

ink. 

The  Black  Cat,  Edgar  Allan  Poe.   This  was  one  where  I 
tried  to  encourage  another  illustrator  to  do  the 
illustration  for  me.   It  was  another  Disney  artist.   He  did 
the  illustrations;  I  had  to  do  the  linoleum  cutting  from 
his  drawings. 

ZIEGLER:   And  who  was  that? 

GERRY:   Alfred  [W.]  Wilson.   He's  now  retired  in  Santa 
Barbara. 

Out  of  the  West:  [Poems  by  William  Ever son,  Gary 
Snyder,  Philip  Levine,  Clayton  Eshleman,  and  Jerome 
Rothenberg] .   This  was  of  California  poets,  published  by 
the  Lord  John  Press.   I  think  we  talked  a  little  bit  about 
that  before. 

Here's  another  Bunston  Quayles,  Under  Three  Inches. 
That  was  a  little —  When  I  was  working  with  Pat  [Patrick 
Reagh]  and  they  had  a  little  open  house  at  Dawson's 
[Bookshop],  I  just  kind  of  whipped  that  out  for  the  people 
that  were  going  to  attend  this  miniature  bookfair.   Glen 
thought  it  was  so  nice  he  wanted  me  to  reprint  the  darn 


61 


thing.   And,  of  course,  the  type  had  all  been  distributed 

on  it.   I  really  did  it  against  my  will. 

ZIEGLER:   I  saw  a  drawing  that  I  think  you  did  for,  I 

believe,  a  catalog  of  Dawson's  that  showed  the  big  fat  man 

relaxing  in  his  easy  chair  with  the  little  tiny  miniature 

book  that  he  was  examining. 

GERRY:   Right.   So  far  I've  done  quite  a  number  of  their 

miniature-book  catalogs.   In  fact  I'm  working  on  one  right 

now. 

[Edmund  Routledge's]  Boy's  Book  of  Fireworks  was  just 
kind  of  a  silly  idea  of  something  that  was  in  the  public 
domain. 

ZIEGLER:   And  you  did  the  illustrations  there? 
GERRY:   Yes.   [Roy  Williams's]  Vaporisms,  that  was  the 
first  book  I  printed  in  Laguna  [Beach]  using  modern 
machinery,  using  a  Linotype  and  the  vertical  press.   Roy 
Williams  was  a  Walt  Disney  story  man,  and  he  wrote  all 
these  two-liners  about  death  and  he--  Humorous  two-line 
what?   Couplets.   And  he  would  leave  them  on  my  desk.   So  I 
decided  to  print  them  and  pass  it  around  to  the  people. 

Special  Recipes  for  Special  People.   That  was  the 
cookbook  I  couldn ' t  remember  by  Vera  Ricci .   There ' s 
another  person  who  wanted  to  do  a  miniature  book.   I  met 
her  through  Pall  Bohne,  and  they  could  never  quite  get 
around  to  it.   She  couldn't  do  it  herself,  so  I  said,  "I'm 


62 


interested  in  doing  a  book."   She  said,  "Oh,  good."   She 
sent  me  about  fifteen  hundred  recipes  for  a  recipe  book.   I 
said,  "I  cannot  do  fifteen  hundred  recipes."   Try  to  whip 
it  down  to  ten  or  twelve."   Or  how  many  are  in  the  book. 
So  she  did  that  and  she  was  really  nice  to  work  with.   Wore 
her  out  doing  the  proofreading. 

Carey  Bliss  called  me  when  I  was  in  Fallbrook  to  do 
some  books  for  the  Zamorano  [Club]  get-together  in  '78. 
One  of  them  was  I  Remember  Robinson  Jeffers  by  Ward 
Ritchie.   That  was  done  in  my  shop  in  Fallbrook,  and  I 
think  they  were  all  sewn  by  hand.   Could  I  have  sewn  them 
all  by  hand?   I  think  I  did.   I  did  it  in  Electra  type, 
which  is  one  of  the  types  Ward  had  used.   I  tried  to  force 
a  certain  design  I  liked.   I  tried  to  force  it  on  this  job 
over  and  over.   I  tried  to  force  this  design  I'd  seen  in 
this  book  I  thought  was  so  swell,  and  it  wouldn't  fit.   So 
I  ended  up  with  what  I  got. 

Grant  Dahlstrom,  Master  Printer:  A  Tribute  on  His 
Seventy- fifth  Birthday.   This  was  a  secret  book  that  Jake 
didn ' t  want  anybody  to  know  about . 
ZIEGLER:   As  a  surprise  for  Grant? 
GERRY:   As  a  surprise.   I  printed  it  in  secret  in 
Fallbrook.   I  was  on  the  spot.   I  really  felt  that  I  was  on 
the  spot,  because  I  was  the  one  who  had  once  been  Grant's 
apprentice.   His  printer's  devil  was  now  going  to  print 


63 


this  book  as  tribute  to  him  on  his  seventy-fifth 

birthday.   I  really  felt  on  the  spot.   But  by  restraining 

myself  and  not  putting  in  all  the  different  types  that  I 

had,  as  he  had  told  me  not  to,  and  not  putting  too  much  ink 

on  the  type,  as  he  had  told  me  not  to,  it  came  out  pretty 

well.   I  think  he  was  pleased. 

ZIEGLER:   Did  you  do  the  patterned  paper  for  the  cover  of 

that? 

GERRY:   Right.   I  did  that  on  a  linoleum  cut,  and  then  I 

repeated  it  and  pasted  it  up  and  I  had  a  local  printer  print 

the  covers  offset.   Mel  Kavin  bound  it  at  Kater  Crafts. 

Grant  Dahlstrom  at  Seventy- five;  More  Tributes.   Jake 
Zeitlin  claimed  that  the  article  Ward  had  given  me  for 
Grant  Dahlstrom,  Master  Printer:  A  Tribute  at  Seventy-five 
was  not  the  article  that  he  had  intended  him  to  give  me. 
So  for  the  Zamorano  get-together,  Jake  printed  this,  which 
he  said  was  the  correct  article  that  Ward  should  have  given 
me.   It  was  printed  by  the  New  Ampersand  Press.   It  was  a 
booklet  that  Dawson's  and  Jake,  I  think,  contributed 
towards . 

ZIEGLER:   Tell  me  about  the  New  Ampersand  Press. 
GERRY:   That  was  a  joke  of  Jake's,  because  Grant  had  had 
his  private  press  called  the  Ampersand  Press  for  years,  and 
one  day  Grant  discovered  somebody  else  had  an  Ampersand 
Press.   So  whether  there  was  a  battle  or  whether  Grant  just 


64 


dropped  out  and  didn't  have  the  Ampersand  Press  anymore,  I 

don't  know.   But  Jake  thought  that  that  would  be  a  joke. 

And  the  book.  Grant  Dahlstrom,  Master  Printer;  A  Tribute  on 

His  Seventy-fifth  Birthday  was  also  by  the  New  Ampersand 

Press.   It  was  an  inside  joke  of  Jake's. 

ZIEGLER:   And  somewhere  I  saw  a  logo  for  that,  a  very 

elegant  ampersand.   Did  you  do  that  logo? 

GERRY:   Was  it  on  the  title  page?   Did  it  have  a  little 

border  around  it? 

ZIEGLER:   I  don't  actually  remember  now. 

GERRY:   I  know  I  had  one  on  the  title  page.   Helen  [Slater] 

Dahlstrom  [1905-1985:  Memorial  Addresses  Given  August  30, 

1985] .   This  was  a  memorial  that  they  asked  me  to  print.   I 

printed  it  damp  on  very  thin  paper,  and  it  didn't  back  up 

very  well.   It  was  what  various  people  had  said.   Jake  had 

said  something  at  her  funeral,  and  Mrs.  [Helen  Carter] 

Brown  had  said  something.   There  were  a  few  other  people 

there,  and  it  was  just  their  tributes  to  her. 

Mark  Nicoll- Johnson,  he's  a  poet  and  a  distant 
relative  of  mine.   So  I  printed  a  poetry  book  for  him  [3  X 
3;  Nine  Poems  from  Los  Angeles].   I  published  it. 

Marion  Kronfeld,  Designs  Cut  for  Plantin  Press 
Calendars,  1941  to  1946.   This  also  is  what  I  figure  is  one 
of  my  major  publishing  efforts.   How  it  came  about--  Oh,  I 
met  her  through  Mrs.  Ricci  and  I  went  to  visit  her.   She 


65 


showed  me  some  of  the  work  she'd  done  for  the  Plantin  Press 
without  me  even  asking.   I  don't  know  why.   Then  I  talked 
to  Mrs.  Marks,  Lillian  Marks  of  the  Plantin  Press,  and  she 
said  that  she  still  had  a  lot  of  good  cuts  that  Marion  had 
cut  in  linoleum  and  had  cut  in  wood.   So  I  got  the  idea  for 
the  book,  and  I  got  Mrs.  Marks  to  approve  and  got  Marion  to 
approve  all  the  cuts.   Marion  Kronfeld  still  had  the 
original  calendars.   You  know,  calendars  are  the  first 
things  you  throw  away,  right?   On  January  1.   But  she  still 
had  kept  them  because  she  had  done  the  artwork  for  them. 
So  I  was  able  to  reproduce  from  those  the  cuts  that  had 
been  lost.   And  I  did  this  book  of  her  artwork.   It's  still 
in  print.   It  never  sold  very  well.   I  thought  that  if 
anybody  had  been  interested  in  the  Plantin  Press  they'd 
want  that  book.   Still  have  quite  a  few  for  sale.   I 
thought  it  was  one  of  my  best  efforts. 

Gladys  Taber,  Stillmeadow  Christmas.   She  was  a 
woman's  magazine  writer.   My  wife  [Mary  Palmer  Gerry]  liked 
cocker  spaniels  and  Christmas,  so  it  was  like  a  Christmas 
card. 

ZIEGLER:   Did  you  do  the  illustrations  for  that? 
GERRY:   Yes.   I  think  there  was  a  dog  running  in  that  with 
a  piece  of  ribbon  in  its  mouth.   I  think  it  was  a  wood 
engraving . 
ZIEGLER:   I  really  liked  that. 


66 


GERRY:   Type.   Vance  Gerry,  the  Weather  Bird  Press.   That 
was  from  part  of  my  selling  efforts  of  making  the  press  a 
commercial  enterprise  by  having  a  type  book,  which  I  took 
around  and  gave  to  various  advertising  people  in  Laguna. 
Nobody  was  ever  interested. 

Restful  Reading  [for  Young  and  Old,  Designed  to  Banish 
Care  and  Alleviate  Cynicism,  Decorously  Illustrated  with 
Cuts] .   That  was  just  a  sort  of  foolish  bunch  of  linoleum 
cuts  I  did  of  some  nineteenth-century  poems  for  kids.   Like 
taking  excerpts  from  nineteenth-century  kids'  books, 
children's  books. 

Distributing  Type  or  the  Just  Art  of  Throwing  In.   We 
talked  about  that  when  I  worked  as  an  apprentice.   The 
tedious  time  I'd  spent  distributing  type.   I  printed  that 
for  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club  in  1975.   And  it  had  some 
drawings.   I'd  seen  a  lot  of--  At  that  time  I  first  became 
interested  in  Edward  Ardizzone,  the  English  illustrator.   I 
was  trying  to  emulate  him.   It's  best  to  try  to  be 
yourself,  because  I  couldn't!   No  matter  how  hard  I  tried  I 
couldn't  be  like  Edward  Ardizzone.   So  they  ended  up  the 
way  they  are . 

That's  [J.  P.  Devine's]  Gatsby,  No  Show  Dog,  Found  a 
Home  in  Hollywood  Anyway.   Jake  kept  saying  that  this  was 
his  last  publication,  and  it  may  well  have  been.   It  was 
for  the  Zamorano  or  Roxburghe  Club  meeting.   It  was  a  story 


67 


that  appeared  in  the  newspaper  about  this  dog  that  roamed 
on  La  Cienega  Boulevard,  I  think. 

ZIEGLER:   Who  did  this  silhouette  of  the  dog  behind  the — ? 
GERRY:   I'm  trying  to  think  if  I  did  it,  but  I  don't —  I 
think  Jake  had  that  from  somewhere.   We  had  an  offset 
printer  print  that,  overprint  that.   No,  he  printed  it 
first,  then  Pat  printed  the  type  on  top  of  that,  I  think. 

A  Letter  from  Mark  Twain  concerning  the  Paige 
Compositor.   A  fellow  I  worked  with  was  nuts  about  Mark 
Twain.   He  showed  me  a  book  of  his  letters.   And  in  this 
book  I  found  this  one  about  how  Twain  was  enthusiastic 
about  this  typesetting  machine  he  had  been  investigating 
for  years  and  years. 

ZIEGLER:   He  went  broke  on  that  didn't  he? 
GERRY:   Right. 

ZIEGLER:  Because  that  was  the  new  technology  that  didn't 
take  off. 

GERRY:  Right,  right.  I  had  some  new  type  called  De  Roos 
I'd  purchased,  and  I  wanted  to  try  it  out.  So  I  did  this 
for  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club,  and  it  was  not  too  bad. 

The  English  Box  Hose  Common  Press  was  something  that 
I'd  printed  for  Ernie  Lindner  to  have  at  a  bookfair  where 
he  was  showing  off  a  facsimile  press  he  had  had  made  out  of 
wood.   I  think  it  had  been  made  in  England.   It  was  a 
wooden  press  that  would  really  print.   This  was  just 


68 


telling  something  about  his  press.   I  had  poison  oak  all 
over  me  when  I  did  that  job,  and  it  was  very  difficult. 

Sydney  Smith,  A  Recipe  for  Salad;  [A  Rhyme] .   This  was 
the  poem  Sydney  Smith  wrote  about  salad.   I  did  my  first 
food  and  drink--  And  I  got  the  idea  to  do  a  whole  series. 
The  whole  series  has  only  gone  up  to  six. 
ZIEGLER:   I  wasn't  sure  if  I'd  seen  the  whole  series. 
Could  you  just  briefly  name  the  items? 

GERRY:   Oh,  let's  see.   There  was  salad.   And  then  I  did 
one  which  was  by  Ford  Madox  Ford.   A  little  excerpt  from 
one  of  his  books  about  eating  a  sandwich  in  the  front  lines 
in  World  War  I  [Sandwiches  and  Coffee] .   And  then  I  did  two 
on  wine,  California  wines  [Mission  Grapes  and  Zinfandel 
Grapes] .   Elva  Marshall  did  some  etchings  which  are  pasted 
in.   The  sandwiches  has  a  pochoir  illustration.   And  then  I 
did  two  others  by  Dela  Lutes--Dela  Lutes  was  a  food 
writer.   One  was  called  Vegetable  Soup  and  one  was  called 
Plum  Pudding.   And  it  had  the  recipe  and  told  you  a  little 
something  about  it.   So  that's  all  I  can  remember. 
ZIEGLER:   What  about  the  one  on  chili  [Chile:  Being  a  Texas 
Recipe] ?   And  there  was  one  on  borscht  [Borscht:  Being  a 
Russian  Recipe] . 

GERRY:   Oh,  I  keep  thinking  I'll  do  another  one  on  chili. 
But  those  were  done  much  before,  just  sort  of  ephemeral 
stuff  to  hand  to  your  friends. 


69 


[William  Bradford's]  The  First  Thanksgiving,  that  was 
just  something  to  hand  out  to  my  friends  at  Thanksgiving. 
Just  a  project  for  printing  a  piece  of  ephemera. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  you  do  the  illustration  there? 
GERRY :   Yes . 

ZIEGLER:   Was  that  a  linoleum  cut? 

GERRY:   Right,  linoleum.   Of  the  pilgrim  with  the 
cornstalk.   I  may  have  had  some  new  type  I  had  wanted  to 
try  out  too,  I'm  not  sure. 

Chile:  Being  a  Texas  Recipe,  that  was  a  piece  of 
ephemera.   There  was  a  fellow  [Danny  Alguire]  I  worked  with 
who  was  a  Texan.   He  and  his  brother  would  continue  to 
write  back  and  forth  to  each  other  about  how  to  make 
chili.   And  my  friend  that  I  worked  with  named  Vasily 
Davidovich  told  me  about  borscht  and  how  borscht  was,  you 
know,  Russian.   Borscht  was  not  like  Jewish  borscht--this 
was  different.   It  was  Russian  borscht!   And  he  had  to  keep 
emphasizing  it.   So  all  right,  give  me  the  recipe!   So  I 
took  it  home.   I  said,  "Well,  it's  just  vegetable  soup." 
But  it  was  good  vegetable  soup. 

Selected  War  Poems  of  Wilfred  Owen.   This  is  where  I 
had  a  friend  [Dale  Barnhart]  of  mine,  an  artist,  and  I  said 
we  should  do  something.   He  had  been  away  and  came  back  and 
we  made  contact.   And  I  said,  "We  should  do  something 
together."   He  was  a  good  artist.   He  could  do  linoleum 


70 


cuts,  and  he  had  done  a  lot  of  prints  just  with  linoleum. 
So  I  said,  "What  should  we  do?"   And  he  said,  "Remember  all 
those  drawings  I  did  about  Wilfred  Owen  during  the  Vietnam 
War?"   He  had  made  a  lot  of  drawings  illustrating  the  poems 
of  Wilfred  Owen.   I  said,  "Oh,  sure,  but  we've  got  to  have 
them  on  linoleum.   I  can't  reproduce  the  drawings."   "Okay, 
I'll  cut  them."   So  he  adapted  these  drawings  that  he'd 
made  to  linoleum,  and  I  set  the  poems.   I  got  the 
permission  from  whoever  has  the  permission  to  do  Owen's 
poems,  and  Pat  Reagh  printed  it  for  me.   A  large- format, 
expensive  book  sells  for  $135.   A  tour  de  force,  bound  by 
Bela  Blau,  and  I  have  lots  of  them  left  if  anybody  is 
interested. 

ZIEGLER:   The  printing  of  the  illustrations  looks  like  it 
must  have  been  very  complicated,  because  it's  in  several 
colors,  and  so  they  have  to  go  through  the  press  several 
times  and  be  lined  up  each  time. 

GERRY:   Yes,  and  the  amount  of  ink  it  took  was  amazing. 
They  had  to  slip-sheet  them. 


71 


TAPE  NUMBER:   III,  SIDE  ONE 
MAY  4,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   Okay,  it's  May  4,  and  we're  here  for  the  second 
interview  with  Vance  Gerry.   He  has  before  him  the  list 
that  we've  put  together  of  the  books  he's  printed.   And  I 
wonder  if  you  could  go  on  conunenting  on  the  books  there. 
GERRY:   Sure.   This  is  Izaak  Walton.   It's  a  poem  from 
Walton's  The  Complete  Angler,  "Piscator,  and  the  Angler's 
Wish."   It  was  just  a  small,  little  tiny  pamphlet  I  hand 
set  in  Deepdene  one  time.   I  was  waiting  for  an  electrician 
to  come,  and  he  never  came.   I  got  this  done,  as  a  matter 
of  fact,  because  of  that.   That  was  in  '67.   It  was  just  a 
very  small  pamphlet. 

ZIEGLER:   Is  that  typical  of  the  way  you  do  printing 
projects?   That  you  sort  of  do  it  when  you're  waiting  for 
something  or  have  some  spare  time  like  that? 
GERRY:   Yes.   But  I  think  that  particular  one  was  just  to 
fill  the  time  while  I  was  waiting  around  for  him. 
ZIEGLER:   Are  you  especially  fond  of  fishing  yourself? 
GERRY:   No,  I  was  just  interested  in  the  book,  because 
people  had  talked  so  much  about  Walton's  book.   And  I  had 
read  it,  and  it  was  sort  of  a  peaceful  thing.   But  I  don't 
know  anything  about  fishing,  nor  do  I  fish. 
ZIEGLER:   I've  never  read  it,  but  I've  heard  that  it's  a 
lot  of  fun  to  read. 

72 


GERRY:   It's  sort  of  a  peaceful  book.   Or,  as  it  says  in 
its  title,  a  contemplative  book.   Now,  this  Housman  was 
another  little  poem  that  I  set,  probably  hand  set,  just  for 
fun.   With  Rue  My  Heart  Is  Laden,  by  A.  E.  Housman.   And  it 
was  not  much  of  anything.   Fiona  Macleod  in  The  Hour  of  the 
Rose  was  taken  from--  William  Sharp  was  the  author,  who 
could  apparently  only  write  under  the  name  of  Fiona  Macleod 
and  wrote  very  colorful  nature  things.   This  was  actually 
pointed  out  to  me  in  a  book  by  Clifton  Fadiman  [Reading 
I've  Liked:  A  Personal  Selection  Drawn  from  Two  Decades  of 
Reading  and  Reviewing] ,  the  excerpts  from  his  [Sharp's] 
writings.   And  I  did  that  one  printed  in  large  Janson,  24- 
point  Janson.   I  barely  had  enough  to  print  one  page  at  a 
time.   And  it  only  had  three  pages,  I  think.   I  did  it  in 
Pasadena  in  1973.   I  bound  it  in  sort  of  a  plaid,  a  gray 
plaid  cloth. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  that  was  very  nice. 

GERRY:   I  thought  it  was  kind  of  a  nice  little  thing,  but 
not  of  much  importance.   Walt  [Walter]  Stanchfield  was  a 
fellow  artist  that  I  worked  with  at  the  [Walt]  Disney 
Studio.   He  did  a  lot  of  woodcuts.   I  mean  real  woodcuts  on 
the  side  of  a  pine  board,  not  to  be  confused  with  wood 
engravings .   These  were  genuine  woodcuts .   He  was  a  darn 
good  artist.   So  I  said,  "Give  me  some  cuts,  and  we'll  make 
a  book  out  of  them."   And  so  I  did.   I  think  we  only  did 


73 


thirty- five  copies.   I  did  it  on  a  Vandercook  proof 
press.   He  was  at  that  time  retired  from  the  studio.   So  I 
went  up  to  see  him  at  his  studio  in  Solvang,  and  he  signed 
all  the  books  for  me.   There  were,  I  think,  thirty- five 
copies.   It  was  a  large  format.   It  was  the  very  first  book 
I  ever  got  into  the  Western  Books  [Exhibition].   And  it  was 
argued  that  it  wasn't  really  a  book;  it  was  only  a 
portfolio--even  though  it  was  bound- -because  it  didn't  have 
any  text.   But  Saul  Marks  stood  up  for  me,  and  I  got  the 
book  in  after  all. 

ZIEGLER:   It  seems  that  they  define  books  even  much  more 
loosely  than  that  nowadays.   I  saw  the  recent  Western  Book 
show  on  display  here,  and  there  was  quite  a  variety  of 
things,  portfolio-type  things  and  almost  sculptural 
bindings.   There  were  one  or  two  examples  that  were  like 
that. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Even  school  catalogs  can  qualify,  or  have  at 
one  time  or  another.   But  this  was  an  example  of  how  I 
tried  to  do  something  original  by  an  original  artist.   And 
I  printed  directly  from  the  blocks  he  cut.   Now,  let's  see. 
Some  Fond  Remembrances  of  a  Boy  Printer  at  the  Castle 
Press,  written  by  myself.   This  was  kind  of  the  first 
experience  I'd  ever  had  of  trying  to  write  something.   And 
I  wrote  my  memoirs  of  working  with  Grant  Dahlstrom  in  1943 
at  the  Castle  Press.   I  tried  to  remember  the  people  who 


74 


worked  there  and  what  they  had  done.   It's  mostly  little 
anecdotes  about  things  that  happened,  what  I  could 
remember.   I  printed  it  in  1968.   I  set  it  in  Caslon  on  the 
Linotype  and  took  it  to  show  Grant  one  day  after  I ' d 
finished.   I  think  I'd  done  about  twenty-five,  maybe  fifty, 
copies.   I  don't  know  if  I'd  done  that  many.   I  showed  it 
to  Grant,  and  he  sort  of  approved  of  it.   He  thought  it  was 
kind  of  good,  but  he  kept  trying  to  read  it  while  I  was 
there.   So  I  could  tell  he  must  have  at  least  been 
interested  in  what  I  was  going  to  say. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   So  he  talked  apparently  to  Glen  Dawson,  and  Dawson 
called  me  up.   He  said,  "Do  you  have  any  more  of  those 
books?   I  want  to  sell  some."   So  I  was  actually  a  printer 
who  was  going  to  sell  something  he'd  printed.   I  was  really 
quite  honored. 

ZIEGLER:   So,  then,  this  is  the  first  book  that  you  sold 
and  the  first  contact  that  you  had  with  Dawson's  [Book 
Shop]? 

GERRY:   Right,  this  was  the  first  contact  that  I  had  with 
Dawson's.   And  I've  worked  with  them  ever  since.   Very  good 
to  printers,  the  Dawsons  [Glen  and  Muir] .   And  some  few 
months  later  Peggy  Christian — she  was  a  book  dealer- -wrote 
to  me  and  she  said,  "Are  there  any  more  of  those  books 
available?   I've  heard  about  them."   I  said,  "No,  but  if  I 


75 


printed  a  second  edition,  would  you  be  interested?"   And 

she  said,  "Oh,  sure."   So  I  printed  a  second  edition  of 

about  fifty  copies.   So  it  exists  in  two  ways. 

ZIEGLER:   What  changes  did  you  make  in  the  second  edition? 

GERRY:   I  think  I  added  the  story  of  Grant  Dahlstrom  and 

his  big  green  Packard  car.   And  I  tried  to  correct  my 

misspellings  and  so  on.   You  can  tell  where  the  corrections 

are  because  I  had  monkeyed  around  on  the  machine,  and  so 

the  corrected  lines,  set  on  the  Linotype,  are  a  little 

narrower  than  the  existing  lines.   So  that's  a  dead 

giveaway.   And  I  didn't  make  all  the  corrections  I  should 

have  anyway . 

ZIEGLER:   Who's  Peggy  Christian? 

GERRY:   She  was  a  well-known  Los  Angeles  book  dealer.   A 

friend  of  Jake  [Zeitlin]'s,  a  friend  of  the  Dawson's.   I 

didn't  know  her  very  well.   I  don't  think  I'd  ever  been  to 

her  shop,  but  she  was  very  respected. 

ZIEGLER:   Is  her  bookshop  still  in  existence? 

GERRY:   No,  she  died  a  couple  of  years  ago.   [looks  at 

list]   Oh,  these  were  just  proofs  you  saw. 

ZIEGLER:   Yes.   For  these  I  didn't  actually  see  the  printed 

book.   It  wasn't  at  the  Clark  [Library].   All  I  saw  was  the 

proofs  or  the  layout.   But  I'd  like  to  have  you  talk  some 

about  the  completed  book. 

GERRY:   Sure.   Okay,  this  was  called  Poems ,  by  Teri 


76 


Ryland.   She  was  the  girlfriend  of  a  man  who  I  worked  with 
at  the  studio.   He  talked  me  into  doing  it,  and  I  did  it. 
It  was  a  very  small,  little  pamphlet  of  some  poems.   Very 
insignificant.   I  did  it  because  I  was  trying  to  make  my 
own  shop  pay  for  itself. 

H.  Richard  Archer,  secretary--  This  was  called,  A 
Glimpse  of  the  Past  from  the  Minutes  of  the  Rounce  and 
Coffin  Club,  printed  for  members  on  the  club's  fiftieth 
anniversary.   Ty  [Tyrus]  Harmsen  of  Occidental  [College] 
had--  Ty  Harmsen  got  the  book  of  minutes  written  by  Richard 
Archer  and  culled  out  some  of  the  most  amusing  things. 
Archer  was  a  very  amusing  minute  keeper  of  the  Rounce  and 
Coffin  Club.   And  I  printed  those  up  for  the  fiftieth 
anniversary.   I  did  this  while  I  was  with  Pat  [Patrick] 
Reagh  in  1981,  and  I  think  it  was  printed  on  the 
vertical.   I  set  it  on  the  Linotype  machine-- Janson. 
ZIEGLER:   I've  read  some  wonderful  anecdotes  about  the 
Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   It  sounds  like  that  group  has  so 
much  fun  together! 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Well,  Ward  [Ritchie]  has  written  a  lot  of 
things  that  make  it  seem  like  that.   Certainly  in  their 
day,  when  Ward  and  Grant  and  the  big  three  were  all  going, 
they  had  a  lot  of  fun.   The  minutes  that  Archer  kept  are 
very  amusing.   The  times,  the  good  times  that  they  had.   We 
don't  do  much  anymore,  in  that  way,  at  the  Rounce  and 


77 


Coffin. 

ZIEGLER:   Oh,  well,  that's  too  bad. 

GERRY:   To  concentrate  on  the  Western  Books  Exhibition  is 

our  main  function  now. 

A  Visit  from  Saint  Nicholas  by  Clement  [C]  Moore.   I 
did  that  as  a  little  Christmas  booklet.   It  was  done  in 
1966,  hand  set  in  Bembo  narrow.   I  think  I  did  seven  or 
eight  copies  for  it,  just  to  be  printing  something.   I  did 
that  in  Pasadena,  in  the  print shop  I  had  in  the  basement. 
ZIEGLER:   So  this  is  a  real  bibliographic  rarity! 
GERRY:   Oh,  I  guess  so.   I  don't —  It  wasn't —  It's  hard  to 
say.   I'll  leave  that  to  the  bibliographers.   Mary 
Elizabeth,  this  was  a  little  thing  I  did  for  the  relatives 
of  my  niece  when  she  was  just  a  little  kid.   It  was  just 
this  silly  thing,  but  the  relatives  loved  it. 

Christmas  at  Manor  Farm,  excerpted  from  The  Pickwick 
Papers .  Yeah,  that  was  a  Christmas  card  done  in  the  form 
of  a  small,  little  book. 

ZIEGLER:   As  I  remember,  there  was  a  delightful  drawing  in 
that  of  a  thin  man  and  a  fat  man  standing  by  the  fireplace 
holding  glasses  of  some  sort  of  liquor. 
GERRY:   Right,  right. 
ZIEGLER:   You  did  that? 

GERRY:   I  did  the  illustrations.   They  were  line  drawings 
made  into  photoengravings.   And  I  suppose--  No,  I  think 


78 


that  was  before  I  discovered  [Edward]  Ardizzone.   But  I  was 
doing  the  Crosshatch  pen-and-ink-type  drawings.   And  that 
little  drawing  came  out  pretty  good. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah.   I  seem  to  remember  seeing  the  same  drawing 
in  some  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club  stuff.   Do  you  remember  it 
being  used  by  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club  later? 
GERRY:   Yeah,  we  used  it  for  an  announcement  of  some  event 
that  we  were  going  to  do.   I  can't  remember  which  one.   And 
somehow  I  got  the  assignment  to  print  the  announcement.   I 
did  it  at  Pat's.   And,  of  course,  Pat  had  all  those  cuts 
stored  and  cataloged.   So  it  was  very  easy  to  find,  and  it 
seemed  to  fit  the  occasion. 

Now,  A  Book  of  Poems;  Cruachan  by  Baxter  Sperry. 
Baxter  Sperry  was  a  woman  I'd  known  in  the  army,  and  she 
was  a  writer.   She  contacted  me  many  years  later  and  wanted 
to  do  some  printing  of  her  own,  and  so  I  sort  of  helped  her 
a  little  bit.   Only  by  mail.   I  never  actually  saw  her 
print shop,  I  don't  believe. 

ZIEGLER:   She  has  her  own  press,  the  Laurel  Hill  Press, 
doesn't  she? 

GERRY:   Right.   And  she,  just  a  few  years  ago,  was 
instrumental  in  getting  the  two  of  us  a  joint  show  at  the 
[California]  State  Library  of  our  work.   She  apparently 
pestered  them  into  showing  us  off.   And  there  she  showed 
some  of  her  better  works.   She  never  became  a  very  good 


79 


printer,  but  she —  The  best  things  she  did  were  the 
drawings  she  made  of  old  buildings  around  Sacramento  and 
that  area,  with  the  history  of  them.   Then  she  hand-colored 
them  and  put  them  in  books  or  sold  them  separately  as 
prints.   They  were  really  very  beautiful.   I  mean,  they 
were  kind  of  naive,  but  when  you  saw  them  all  together  in 
the  show,  they  were  terribly  impressive.   So  this  was  a 
book  I'd  done  for  her  in  1966  of  her  poems.   I  can't 
remember  why  I  did  it.   Or  maybe  she  paid  me  for  it.   I 
don't  think  there  were  too  many,  maybe  thirty  copies,  maybe 
less  than  that.   And  it  was  bound  in  a  cloth  which  I  got  at 
the  yardage  store  and  set  in  narrow  Bembo.   Not  a  bad 
job.   A  perfect  job  of  perfect  binding,  and  the  pages  are 
probably  all  falling  out  by  now! 

Bela  Thandar,  that  was  an  anagram.   And  the  title  of 
the  book  was  The  Last  Time  I  Dined  with  the  King.   It  was  a 
book  of  limericks  that  we'd  found  in  Playboy.   And  one  of 
the  artists  at  the  studio,  whose  anagram  was  Bela  Thandar- - 
ZIEGLER:   Who  was  Bela  Thander? 

GERRY:   Bela  Thandar  was  Dale  Barnhart.   He  had  made  these 
illustrations  for  these  filthy  limericks.   I  cut  them  in 
linoleum.   I  think  we  sold  it  to  a  few  members  of  the 
studio,  probably  did  twenty  copies  or  twenty- five  copies. 
ZIEGLER:   Oh!   I  never  got  to  see  the  completed  one  of 
that.   I  just  saw  the  proofs  of  the  limericks.   I  never  saw 


80 


any  illustrations. 

GERRY:   I  wonder  if  I  even  have  a  copy  myself.   But  I  think 
it  was  limited  to  about  twenty-five  copies.   I  was  still 
doing  everything  on  the  kitchen  table  then. 

[Some]  English  Christmas  Customs  by  Dorothy  Spicer. 
Another  excerpt  from  some  writings  of  Dorothy  Spicer.   It 
was  a  Christmas  card  for  1979.   Yeah,  that  one  you  have 
there.   It  has  a  linoleum  cut  and  two  wood  engravings,  all 
of  which  I  thought  were  fairly  successful. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  they  are.   I'm  looking  at  the  book  right 
now.   Could  you  tell  me  which  is  the  linoleum  cut  and  which 
are  the  wood  engravings? 

GERRY:   The  birds  in  the  middle  of  the  book  eating  the 
seed--that  was  a  linoleum  cut.   And  then  the  bundle  of 
twigs  on  the  title  page  was  a  wood  engraving.   It  was  set 
in  Granj on- -small  Granjon,  8  to  10  point.   I  can't 
remember . 

ZIEGLER:   And  then,  also,  this  of  the  cake  and-- 
GERRY:   That  was  a  wood  engraving.   It  was  primarily  a 
Christmas  card.   It  exists  today  because  I  must  have 
thought  I  had  more  friends  than  I  did,  because  I  still  have 
about  twenty- five  of  them. 

ZIEGLER:   How  did  you  do  the  cover  paper  for  this?   Is  it 
type  ornaments  of  a  Christmas  bell,  and  then  you  just 
repeated  the  design? 


81 


GERRY:  Yeah,  I  think  I'd  actually  cast  those  types  on  my 
Thompson  typecaster  myself.  So  I  was  able  to  cast  enough 
to  fill  enough  paper  to  make  a  cover. 

ZIEGLER:   Do  you  often  cast  type  ornaments  for  yourself? 
GERRY:   No.   I  had  always  thought  I  would  some  day  design 
my  own  typeface  and  cut  it  and  cast  it.   And  I  bought  an 
old  Thompson  with  that  in  mind.   The  most  I've  ever  done 
with  it  is  to  cast  some  Linotype  decorative  material  from 
Linotype  matrices.   I  really  haven't  used  it  very  much. 
ZIEGLER:   What  are  some  of  the  ornaments  that  you  have 
cast?   I  might  have  seen  them. 

GERRY:   Well,  they  were  all  from  Linotype  mattes,  so 
they ' re  in  the  Linotype  catalog .   I  think  I  bought  some 
directly  from  Linotype,  and  then  a  lot  of  them  sort  of  came 
with  the  machine.   The  machine  had  been  owned  by  some  Los 
Angeles  typefounder  who  cast  nothing  but  Linotype  material, 
including  type  from  Linotype  mattes.   So  I  really  haven't 
done  much  with  it.   I  gave  up  trying  to  be  a  typefounder 
because  I  was  unsuccessful  in  making  the  punches.   I 
couldn't  quite  figure  out  how  to  do  that  correctly. 
ZIEGLER:   Do  you  ever  think  you  might  try  it  again 
sometime? 

GERRY:   No,  I've  discovered  a  cutter,  a  matrix  engraver  in 
India  called  Experto.   They  sent  letters  around  to  everyone 
they  knew  who  had  a  typecasting  machine.   They  would  be 


82 


glad  to  make  the  mattes  from  your  drawing.   So  that  is  kind 
of  a  cop-out,  but  it's  much  easier  to  make  the  drawing  from 
which  they  will  make  me  a  matrix  than  for  me  to  try  and 
file  out  a  punch  and  press  it  into  an  aluminum  matrix.   So 
you  see,  I've  sort  of  become  lazy. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  you  say  in  India? 
GERRY:   Yes. 

ZIEGLER:   Do  they  do  a  lot  of  that  in  India?   I  never  quite 
realized-- 

GERRY:  I  guess  some  of  the  technology  of  the  West  that  we 
no  longer  use  is  sort  of  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Third 
World,  and  in  the  Third  World  they  do  a  lot  of  it.  I  guess 
India's  part  of  the  Third  World.  They  still  do  a  number  of 
technologies  which  we  don't  do  here  anymore.  That  just 
happens  to  be  one  of  them.  But  they  still  use  a  great  deal 
of  letterpress  printing  in  India  and  Africa. 

Audrey  Arel lanes,  a  keepsake  for  the  Bookplate 
Collectors  Society.   That  was  a  commercial  job  I  did  for 
Audrey,  who  is  president  of  the  Bookplate  Collectors 
Society.   I  can't  remember  much  about  it  unless  that  was 
the  one  that  had  greetings  in  many  different  languages.   I 
can't  remember.   I  did  a  couple  of  things  for  her. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  remember  seeing  keepsakes  for  several 
different  years  for  that  society.   I  don't  know  if  I  got 
them  all  in  the  stack  of  cards.   There  were  quite  a  few 


83 


things  I  didn't  realize  I  had  missed  in  making  the  cards. 
Could  you  tell  me  a  little  bit  more  about  the  society? 
GERRY:   Apparently  it  goes  back  to  the  twenties,  or  maybe 
earlier.   Audrey  took  over  managing  the  club,  which  is  an 
international  club--I  hope  I'm  getting  this  right--for  book 
collectors.   It's  for  people  who  make  bookplates  as  well  as 
for  people  who  collect  bookplates.   Their  subject  is 
bookplates,  period.   She  puts  out  a  yearly  book  which  is  a 
beautiful  job,  in  which  she  tips  in  herself  many  examples 
of  bookplates.   It's  sort  of  really  an  annual.   Then  she 
does  a  newsletter  that  comes  out  I  think  once  a  month,  or 
maybe  quarterly--I 'm  not  sure- -concerning  bookplates. 
Bookplates  in  the  News  this  book  is  called.   And  she  still 
runs  the  society  from  her  kitchen  table.   I've  seen  her 
working  there  many  times,  tipping  in  those  bookplates.   I'm 
not  sure  what  the  membership  is.   Five  hundred  people  or 
more .   You ' d  have  to  ask  her . 

ZIEGLER:   Is  she  one  of  your  neighbors  in  Pasadena? 
GERRY:   I  think  she  lives  in  San  Gabriel,  but  she's  a 
member  of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   She's  had  me  do  work 
for  her  off  and  on  for  many  years  now.   Whenever  I  have  a 
print shop  and  she  and  the  society  have  some  money,  then  we 
get  together. 

Four  Common  Plants:  Linoleum  Cuts  and  the  Text 
Describing  Oleander,  Plumbago,  Wild  Cucumber,  and  Yarrow. 


84 


I  printed  that  in  1978,  and  it  was  my  first  herbal,  would 
you  call  it?   I  engraved  these  plants  I  found  in  the 
backyard  and  cut  them  into  linoleum  and  printed  them.   It 
took  me  a  number  of  years  just  to  do  four  of  them. 
ZIEGLER:   I'm  sorry  I  didn't  see  the  completed  book.   It 
looked  like  they  were  beautiful  engravings  of  the  plants, 
judging  from  the  prints. 

GERRY:   One  I  tried  to  do  in  two  colors  didn't  come  out  too 
well.   The  others,  just  printed  in  black,  are  not  too 
bad.   I'm  kind  of  proud  of  them.   It  took  a  great  deal  of 
time  to  get  it  done.   And  I  bound  it  in  wrappers,  and 
probably  only  fifty  copies,  I  think. 

ZIEGLER:   I  forget.   Did  you  write  the  text  on  that,  also? 
GERRY:   The  text  I  borrowed  from  different  sources.   I 
confess,  I  didn't  write  it,  no. 

ZIEGLER:   How  many  herbals  would  you  say  you've  done?   I've 
seen  several.   There  was  Four  Weeds.   And  then  you 
mentioned  that  you're  going  to  work  on  one  soon  called 
Seaside  Plants. 

GERRY:   Yes.   And  my  Seaside  Plants  book  will  be  more 
ambitious.   I  hope  to  do  about  sixteen  plants  and  cut  them 
in  linoleum.   First  I  was  going  to  try  lithography,  and  I 
couldn't  get  that  to  work.   I  had  already  done  the  etchings 
of  Four  Weeds.   So  I  thought,  "Well,  I'll  go  back  to 
linoleum,  because  I  feel  more  secure  with  linoleum.   And 


85 


maybe  kind  of  take  some  cues  from  Henry  Evans  and  how  he  is 
able  to  get  the  plant  without  a  lot  of--  Within  two  colors, 
or  so,  he  could  get  the  whole  thing.   And  I  was  hoping  I 
could  discipline  myself  enough  to  do  something  similar. 
Evans  can  capture  the  plant,  and  you  can  say  the  plant  is 
authentic — it's  just  not  an  artist's  dream.   He  can  do  it 
in  two  colors.   So  that's  pretty  ambitious  of  me  to  think  I 
can  do  that,  but  I'm  going  to  try.   And  in  this  case,  I 
don't  think  I'll  write  it.   I  think  I'll  get  the  botanist 
Charles  Leland  Richardson,  who  wrote  Four  Weeds  for  me. 
Richardson  is  a  botanist,  but  he  has  always  worked  in  the 
motion  picture  business  because  he  hopes  to  get  rich  enough 
to  afford  to  become  a  botanist.   But  he's  very  good.   He 
likes  the  subject,  and  he's  just  right  for  my  sort  of 
work.   So  I  think  he'll  do  this  Seaside  Plant  book  for 
me.   I'll  do  the  cuts. 

And  then  we  have  Edward  Ardizzone,  On  the  Illustrating 
of  Books .   That  was  one  of  my  more  recent  books.   It  was  an 
article  printed  in  [The]  Private  Library  journal.   It  was  a 
small  article,  and  Ardizzone  talked  about  himself  as  an 
illustrator.   And  I  thought,  "I  like  Ardizzone.   This  is 
just  the  right  size  for  me  to  make  a  small  book."   Tricking 
myself  by  believing  the  job  is  going  to  be  easy  because 
it's  going  to  be  small.   I'm  always  a  sucker  for  taking  on 
projects  because  I  think  they're  going  to  be  easy,  and  they 


86 


never  are.   Anyway,  it  turned  out  to  be  a  very  successful 
book.   I  got  permission  from  Ardizzone's  agent  for  the 
article  as  well  as  the  drawings.   One  of  my  better  books,  I 
think. 

ZIEGLER:   And  you  were  saying  you  especially  admire 
Ardizzone  as  an  illustrator. 

GERRY:   Right.   Yes.   I  have  many  times  tried  to  copy 
Ardizzone's  style.   Unsuccessfully,  but  I've  tried.   So 
yes,  I  do  admire  him  a  lot. 

ZIEGLER:   When  did  you  first  discover  Ardizzone? 
GERRY:   Oh,  I  suppose  I  had  always  seen  his  work.   But  one 
time  at  a  bookfair,  I  think  in  '74,  one  of  the  dealers  had  a 
complete  set  of  Ardizzone's  illustrations  for  the  Cambridge 
[University  Press]  book  called  A  Stickful  of  Nonpareil  [by 
George  Scur field]  about  the  adventures  of  a  young  man,  the 
remembrances  of  a  young  man,  at  the  Cambridge  press.   He'd 
done  the  illustrations.   They  were  all  concerning  the 
printshop  and  the  young  fellows  working  at  the  printshop.   I 
thought  I  would  like  to  have  them,  but  they  were  too 
expensive,  I  thought,  then.   But,  anyway,  that's  when  I 
really  became  interested  in  Ardizzone,  at  that  point. 

Pasadena  centennial  map,  that  was  done  for  the 
Pasadena  centennial.   I  think  that  was  a  Junior  League 
job.   The  Junior  League  had  me  do  the  map  because  somehow  I 
had  gotten  a  reputation  as  a  mapmaker  because  of  the  little 


87 


book  I'd  done  called  Topography  of  the  Castle  Press,  circa 
1943,  [and  Other  Dim  Recollections] .   Now  everyone  came  to 
me  thinking  I  was  a  map  drawer.   I  wasn't  really.   I  just 
learned  by  doing. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  well,  you  do  do  wonderful  maps.   You  say  on 
them  they're  not  navigational  maps,  they're  not  to  scale. 
But  they're  beautiful  and  they're  entertaining.   I  saw  a 
map  that  you  did,  "A  Bibliophile's  Map  to  Los  Angeles"  or 
something  like  that. 

GERRY:   Yes,  I  did  that  with  John  Bidwell,  who  probably  was 
the  one  who  said,  "Oh,  you  know  how  to  draw  maps  because 
you  did  the  topography  map  of  the  Castle  Press."   So  I  said 
okay.   Then  we  decided  which  items  we  should  put  in.   Like, 
for  instance,  UCLA  ought  to  be  in  there  because  that  would 
be  of  interest  to  international  bibliophiles.   And  we  put 
in  museums  and  colleges.   Anything  we  thought  might  be  of 
interest.   Also  places  where  the  international  bibliophiles 
were  going  to,  such  as  the  ranch  up  there  up  near  Ojai 
[Rancho  Mi  Solar] --they  were  going  to  visit  this  ranch  for 
a  barbecue- -and  this  hotel  they  stayed  in.   So  it  came  out 
pretty  good.   Although  Pat  always  complained  that  I  hadn't 
drawn  it  to  the  right  shape  and  he  had  to  fold  it  in  an 
awkward  way  to  go  into  the  book .   I  think  I ' ve  done  a 
couple  of  other  maps  besides  that. 
ZIEGLER:   There  was  a  map  that  you  did  for  the  endpapers  of 


88 


the  Lord  John  Press  book  Out  of  the  West;  [Poems  by  William 
Everson,  Gary  Snyder,  Philip  Levlne,  Clayton  Eshleman,  and 
Jerome  Rothenberq] . 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah.   I'm  thinking  more  of  a  pictorial.   I 
know  I  did  another  one.   I  can't  think  of  it  right  now. 

Let's  see,  William  H.  Butler,  Nothing  To  Wear.   This 
was  a  poem  about  this  poor —  It  was  a  nineteenth-century 
poem  about  this  poor  girl  who  didn't  have  enough  to  wear. 
And,  of  course,  she  had  closets  full  of  clothes,  but  not 
just  the  right  thing  that  she  wanted.   It  was  published  by 
Lorson's  bookshop  [Lorson's  Books  and  Prints]  in  Fullerton. 
ZIEGLER:   Could  you  tell  me  a  little  more  about  Lorson's 
Book  Shop? 

GERRY:   [James  E.]  Lorson  started  his  bookshop  in  Orange 
County,  in  Fullerton.   Oh,  I  would  say  he  first  contacted  me 
back  in  the  early  seventies  because  he  heard  I  was  a  printer 
and  he  wanted  to  handle  some  of  my  books.   He's  been  very  good 
about  that  to  all  of  us  since  then.   And  he  had  to--  He  ran 
his  bookshop  part-time  in  Fullerton  for  a  number  of  years.   He 
himself  was  employed  in  the  electronics  business.   He  was 
always  looking  forward  to  his  retirement.   Fortunately,  he  was 
laid  off  and  he  decided  to  do  the  bookshop  full-time.   His 
wife  [Joan  Lorson]  runs  the  half  that  handles  modern--I  don't 
want  to  say  contemporary--children' s  books  and  some  gift 
items.   He  runs  the  part  of  the  bookshop  which  is  the 


89 


antiquarian  department.   And  they've  made  a  success  of 
it.   He  one  time  said  he  wanted  to  be  the  best  antiquarian 
book  dealer  in  Fullerton,  and  I  think  he  finally  got  it. 
He  also  handles  work  by  artists.   He  handles  the  work  of  an 
etching  artist  named  Scott  Fitzgerald  and  some  watercolors 
by  other  artists.   He's  very  helpful.   Nice  book  dealer. 

This  was  a  book  I  did  for  them,  and  we  struggled 
along.   It  was  printed  while  I  worked  with  Pat  Reagh.   I 
think  it  was  set —  I  think  Pat  set  it  on  the  Monotype,  and 
we  had  some  trouble  with  getting  the  right  colored  paper 
for  the  covering.   In  some  ways  it's  very  successful.   I 
did  two  wood  engravings  for  it  that  came  out  pretty  good 
for  a  miniature  book.   It  is  a  miniature  book. 
ZIEGLER:   We're  still  talking  about  Nothing  To  Wear? 
GERRY:   Nothing  To  Wear.   I  think  that  its  cover  was 
somehow  not  too  satisfactory,  but  it's  not  a  bad-looking 
book,  not  a  bad-looking  miniature.   A  lot  of  people  don't 
like  miniatures.   I  don't  like  miniatures.   But  every  once 
in  a  while  I'll  do  one,  in  spite  of  it.   [laughter] 
ZIEGLER:   You  say  you  don't  like  them.   Why  not? 
GERRY:   Oh,  because  they're  small  and  hard  to  do,  and  it's 
very  hard  to  set  the  type.   The  only  way  you  can  do  it 
right  is  to  set  the  type  by  hand.   And  I  always  try  to 
force  it  on  the  Linotype.   At  that  narrow  a  measure  it's 
very  difficult  to  get  any  decent  spacing.   A  miniature  book 


90 


should  really  be  set  by  hand,  in  4-point  type  or —  And 

nobody  wants  to  set  anything  in  4-point  type. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  can  imagine!   [laughter]   Having 

struggled  with  those  little  tiny  pieces  of  type  myself  in 

the  printshop  downstairs.   And,  of  course,  that  wasn't  that 

small.   Some  people  solve  the  problem  by  doing  miniature 

books  with,  like,  four  letters  to  a  page,  and  that  sort  of 

thing. 

GERRY:   Or  else  they'll  set  it  large  and  then  have  it 

reduced  by  photoengraving.   But  in  the  miniature  book 

field,  that's  considered  cheating. 

ZIEGLER:   Oh!  Yeah,  I  would  tend  to  think  so,  too. 

GERRY:   Also,  when  you're  set  up  to  print  large  books,  you 

don't  want  to  fool  with  small  books.   Really  a  person  that 

does  miniature  books  is  usually  set  up  to  do--  He  has  a 

small  press,  a  small  paper  cutter,  a  small  little 

bindery.   Everything  is  small.   Somehow  when  you  try  to 

force  it  through  a  shop  that  is  equipped  [to  do]  a  6"  X  9" 

book,  it's  sort  of  difficult. 

ZIEGLER:   William  Cheney  did  a  lot  of  miniatures.   Was  he 

really  pretty  much  exclusively  a  miniature  printer? 

GERRY:   No,  Will  did  a  lot  of  printing  that  was  not 

miniature.   He  tended  to  be  on  the  small  side.   Small 

pamplets,  small  booklets,  like  4  1/2"  X  6".   But  he  did 

larger  things.   But  mostly  he  was  on  the  small  things.   He 


91 


did  do  many  miniatures--!  mean,  small  miniatures  that  were 

1"  X  3/4" — or  did  a  nice —  They  were  all  set  with  type.   A 

beautiful  one  he  did  of  bookplates  all  set  in  tiny,  tiny 

little  ornaments  in  a  very  small  format.   He  was  a  real 

miniature  guy.   Miniature  book  printer. 

ZIEGLER:   I  think  a  miniature  book  is  like  an  adult  toy. 

It  has  some  of  that  same  appeal. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   When  you  see  them  all  on  display,  it's  like 

looking  at  a  dollhouse,  and  you're  fascinated  by 

miniatures. 

ZIEGLER:   I  bet  it  must  be  fascinating,  for  the  same 

reason,  to  see  a  printshop  set  up  for  printing  miniatures 

with  little  tiny  presses. 

GERRY:   By  little,  I  mean  the  Pilot  press.   Or  maybe  a  5"  X 

8",  which  would  be  a  little  bit  smaller.   That's  about  a  7" 

X  9",  6"  X  9",  isn't  it? 

ZIEGLER:   You  mean  that  one  that  I  had  so  much  trouble 

with? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  that's  a  6"  X  9".   You  could  print  four  pages 

of  a  miniature  very  comfortably  on  that,  and  you  might  even 

stretch  it  out  to  eight.   But  four  would  go  very 

comfortably  on  that.   I  think  a  lot  of  miniature  people  do 

two  pages  at  a  time. 

ZIEGLER:   These  were  some  things  that  I  didn't  manage  to 

see,  but  I  saw  listings  of  them  in  your  catalogs. 


92 


GERRY:   Okay,  these  were  probably  books  I  proposed  to  do 
and  announced  that  I  would  do,  but  then  never  did. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  maybe  you  can  tell  me  which  you  did  do  and 
which  never  got  done. 

GERRY:   Okay.   I  always  wanted  to  do  a  miniature  book  on 
bibliographic  abbreviations.   I  consulted  with  Ed  [Edwin 
H.]  Carpenter  and  with  Jim  Lorson  about  which  bibliographic 
abbreviations  it  should  include,  and  I  had  a  pretty  good 
list.   And  I  even  sent  a  couple  of  sample  pages,  but  then 
somehow  I  lost  interest.   I  may  get  interested  again,  but  I 
just  sort  of  got  off  on  some  other  project.   And  nobody  was 
banging  on  the  door  saying,  "Quick,  quick,  when  are  you 
going  to  get  it  done?"   Nobody  ever  begged  me  to  do  it. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  think  it  might  be  worth  finishing 
sometime.   Maybe  reference  librarians  would  use  it. 
GERRY:   Carry  it  in  their  pocket. 

ZIEGLER:   This  is  The  Day  the  Pig  Fell  in  the  Well  by  John 
Cheever--we  talked  about  that  before- -for  the  Lord  John 
Press.   That  we  did  in  two  versions,  the  deluxe  and  the 
regular.   And  I  bound  twenty- six  of  them,  I  think,  that 
were  lettered.   Each  one  had  a  different  letter  designating 
it,  and  they  were  bound  and  put  in  slipcases,  which  I 
believe  I  made.   It  was  very  ambitious.   That  was  when  I 
had  a  printshop  full-time  and  I  could  do  that  sort  of 
thing.   In  1978.   The  book  turned  out  very  well.   Some  of 


93 


my  very  best  typesetting  for  a  very  good  author.   And  I 
think  Herb  [Yellin]  always  liked  that  book,  too. 
ZIEGLER:   I  remember  seeing  some  sketches  for  that.   As  I 
said,  that  one  I  didn't  see  the  completed  book,  but  a 
latticework  design- - 

GERRY:   It  has  a  latticework  design  on  the  title  page. 
Then  one  of  the  versions — I  think  the  inexpensive  version-- 
had  a  drawing  of  this  old  house  where  the  story  took  place 
on  the  cover.   I  think  that  whole  cover  was  sort  of 
latticework,  if  I  recall.   But  I  remember  drawing  that 
house.   You  may  have  seen  the  drawings.   I  must  have  drawn 
it  a  thousand  times,  and  then  probably  picked  the  wrong 
one. 

Proud  Flesh  by  James  Purdy  was  another  Lord  John  Press 
I  did  in  1980.   I  had  set  the  chapter  headings,  the  heading 
of  the  plays,  very  low  on  the  page.   And  after  it  was  all 
printed,  it  looked  blank.   So  I  proposed  to  Herb  Yellin 
that  I  put  in  some  illustrations  in  these  blank  openings  to 
the  plays.   There  were  about  four  or  six  plays.   So  he  said 
okay.   Then  I  wore  myself  out  trying  to  come  up  with  the 
right  drawings.   Then  I  had  to  run  the  sheets  through  the 
press  again  to  imprint  those  on.   And  as  I  look  back, 
sometimes  I  think,  "Gee,  maybe  it  wasn't  so  bad  if  they 
were  left  blank." 
ZIEGLER:   In  any  case,  I  imagine  it  was  a  lot  of  work  just 


94 


lining  them  up  to  get  the  illustration  placed  right  where 

the  type  is. 

GERRY:   Actually,  that  part  wasn't  too  bad.   [It  wasn't] 

too  hard  to  do  that .   Since  I ' d  proposed  the  idea  to  Herb 

and  he'd  accepted  it,  then  I  had  to  come  up  with  the 

drawings,  and  I  learned--  They  came  out  very  well. 

Actually,  it  was  a  pretty  nice  job.   Four  Common  Plants,  we 

talked  about  that,  didn't  we?   The  linoleum  cuts? 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  think  we  did. 

GERRY:   Anthony  Rizzo,  Some  Epigrammatical  Notes.   This  was 

a  background  painter  at  the  Disney  Studio.   He  often  left 

notes  on  my  desk  of  his  own  composition,  which  were  a 

little  obscure. 

ZIEGLER:   I  think  you  mentioned  that  was  the  first  thing 

you  ever  printed.   Is  that  right? 

GERRY:   It  was  the  first  book  I  ever  printed.   I  just  kept 

collecting  these  little  notes.   I  printed  them  one  page  at 

a  time  and  perfect-bound  them.   The  man  [Louis  Appet]  who 

later  became  the  business  agent  for  the  cartoonists  local 

union  [Screen  Cartoonists  Guild]  taught  me  how  to  bind  the 

book.   That  was  my  first  experiment  with  binding. 

To  a  Mouse,  Robert  Burns,  Peach  Pit  Press.   That  would 
be  around  the  early  sixties  when  I  had  the  Peach  Pit  Press 
in  the  basement.   I  think  I'd  gotten  an  8"  X  12"  Challenge 
Gordon  platen  press,  and  I  printed  this  on  that.   And  it 


95 


was  an  8  1/2"  X  11"  format  set  in  large  Janson,  24-point 
Janson,  with  some  linoleum  cuts  that  I  did.   It  was  just  a 
little  book  of  the  poem  "To  a  Mouse."   I  put  a  little 
glossary  in  the  back  of  what  some  of  Burns ' s  Scottish  words 
were. 

ZIEGLER:   I  saw  where  you  had  done  different  sketches  for 
that,  one  of  the  mouse  in  its  burrow  and  one  of  the  plow. 
But  I  don't  think  I  saw  the  completed  one  of  that,  so  I 
never  saw  which  drawings  you  used.   You  cut  them  in 
linoleum,  then? 

GERRY:   You  really  dug  into  all  that  stuff. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  looked  through  your  papers  at  the  Clark 
and  the  books  of  yours  that  we  have  there. 
GERRY:   Plum  Pudding  by  Delia  Lutes.   This  was  taken  from 
one  of  her  books.   That  was  Weather  Bird  Press  Food  and 
Drink  number  six.   These  were  small  little  booklet  formats 
I  decided  to  do  a  series  on,  and  I  think  six  was  as  far  as 
I  got.   I  have  a  few  waiting  to  be  printed.   It's  another 
one  of  those  projects  where  I  sort  of  lost  interest. 
Although  they  are  fairly  popular--people  like  them.   Delia 
Lutes ' s  Vegetable  Soup,  same  thing .   That ' s  Food  and  Drink 
number  five.   Sandwiches  and  Coffee  was  a  very  much  edited 
excerpt  from  one  of  Ford  Madox  Ford's  World  War  I  books. 
That  had  a  pochoir  illustration.   That  was  Food  and  Drink 
number  four.   Mission  Grapes,  Food  and  Drink  number  two. 


96 


This  I  tried  to  get  my  friend  David  Hitchcock  to  write.   I 

thought  in  his  retirement  he'd  be  interested  in  researching 

grapes  because  he  liked  wine  and  had  been  to  wine  school. 

Well,  I  had  a  hard  time  trying  to  pry  Mission  Grapes  out  of 

him,  which  he  wrote.   And  Elva  Marshall  did  the  etching, 

which  I  had  Tony  Kroll  print. 

ZIEGLER:   You  did  several  things  for  David  Hitchcock, 

didn't  you? 

GERRY:   Well,  he  did  this  for  me.   I  just  tried  to  get  him 

to  write  it.   Yes,  David  Hitchcock  once  ran  for  a  public 

office,  and  I  was  his  printer. 

ZIEGLER:   Yes,  I  saw  the  campaign  letter.   And  then  was  he 

connected  with  the  Hancock  Laboratories,  that  heart  valve 

place?   Or  was — ? 

GERRY:   No,  no.   They  had  nothing  in  common.   That  was 

Warren  Hancock  who  started  that  company  making  porcine 

heart  valves,  and  also  bandages  made  from  pig  skin  for  burn 

patients. 

ZIEGLER:   You  also  then  did  some  wine  bottle  labels  for 

David  Hitchcock,  didn't  you? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  but  that  was  just  sort  of  as  a  present,  just 

sort  of  fun.   He's  a  fellow  I've  known  a  long  time.   But  he 

knows  nothing  of  printing,  and  he  was  not  interested  in 

writing  really.   It  was  my  imagination  that  thought  he 

might  like  to  research  this  stuff.   But  he  also  did  Mission 


97 


and  he  did  Zinfandel  Grapes  for  me  for  the  Food  and  Drink 
series. 

ZIEGLER:   And  tell  me  a  little  bit  about  the  artist.   Let 
me  look  up  her  name  again,  the  artist  who  did  the 
engravings  for  that. 

GERRY:   Oh,  Elva  Marshall--who  has  been  a  longtime  editor 
at  the  Castle  Press- -is  an  artist,  and  she  made  the 
etchings  for  me  of  the  Zinfandel  and  the  Mission  Grapes.   I 
remember  we  went  out  to  a  vineyard  out  on  Foothill 
Boulevard  and  we  looked  at  grapes  and  we  looked  at  leaves 
and  we  started  a  little  collection  of  wine  grape  leaves, 
and  so  on.   We  did  a  lot  of  research.   She  made  these  for 
me  and  she  was  good,  and,  of  course,  couldn't  run  off  as 
many  as  I  needed  on  her  etching  press.   I  think  these  were 
like  two  hundred  copies.   Tony  Droll,  a  commercial 
engraver,  he  ran  them  off  for  me,  and  they're  all  tipped 
in. 


98 


TAPE  NUMBER:   III,  SIDE  TWO 
^4AY  4,  1989 

GERRY:   These  are  Letters  concerning  D.  H.  Lawrence.   I  may 
have  talked  about  this  before.   My  aunt,  Margaret  Fay,  her 
husband  [Eliot  Fay]  had  been  a  teacher  of  Romance  languages 
in  a  number  of  different  colleges--well,  from  Northwestern 
[University)  down  to  the  Citadel  in  the  South — and  he  was 
very  fond  of  Lawrence.   He  decided  he  would  write  a  book  on 
Lawrence,  all  from  the  existing  written  material.   This  was 
published  by  the  Bookman  Press,  which  means — I  think — Fay 
may  have  had  to  pay  for  part  of  it  himself  to  be 
published.   He  sent  the  book  off  to  Dorothy  Brett,  Mabel 
Dodge  Luhan,  Frieda  Lawrence,  and  one  other  who  had  been 
friends  of  Lawrence.   This  was  in  the  early  fifties  and 
they  were  all  still  alive,  and  they  wrote  back  to  him.   My 
aunt  still  had  these  letters  in  her  possession,  and  I 
thought,  "Hey,  I'll  publish  some  Lawrence  stuff!"   I  mean, 
it's  very  distant,  very  fringy  Lawrence  stuff.   I  published 
the  letters.   I  guess  there  were  maybe  ten  letters. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  it  still  should  be  of  considerable  interest 
to  anyone  doing  a  Lawrence  biography. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   The  letters  were  written  by  these  friends 
and  by  Lawrence's  wife  to  Fay.   So  that  was  about  that. 
ZIEGLER:   I  saw  where  you'd  been  sketching  a  portrait  of 
Lawrence,  looking  at  different  photographs  of  him. 

99 


GERRY:   Oh,  in  the  frontispiece.   I  had  other  people  draw 
it  for  me  too,  and  I  finally  ended  up  doing  a  Lawrence  that 
wasn't  too  good,  but  it  was  sort  of  a  fairly  effective 
title  page.   I  felt  very  good  about  publishing  that  because 
it  was  like  new  material.   It  wasn't  just  a  reprint. 

Here  we  have  Four  Weeds,  written  by  Charles  Leland 
Richardson.   This  was  my  experience  with  etchings,  the 
first  time  I'd  ever  done  any  etching  or  intaglio  work.   I 
had  bought  an  intaglio  press  from  an  artist  who  was  moving 
and  didn't  need  it  anymore.   It  was  just  the  right  size.   A 
strong  man  can  lift  it  or  a  weak  man  can  take  it  apart  and 
move  it.   And  it  will  do  a  twelve-inch-wide  plate.   So  I 
fooled  around,  and  I  talked  to  Richardson.   I  talked  to  him 
and  he  said,  "Well,  we'll  do  it  on  weeds."   So  I  said, 
"Well,  make  it  simple.   Do  four  weeds."   Well,  to  do  four-- 
I  did  fifty  copies,  so  that  makes  two  hundred  etchings.   It 
was  incredibly  tiring  to  do  fifty  etchings  of  each  plant. 
ZIEGLER:   And  etchings  you  can't  put  through  the  press  at 
the  same  time  as  type,  can  you? 

GERRY:   No,  the  type  was  fairly  easy  to  print.   But  I 
printed  the  book  first,  and  then  I  imprinted  the  etchings 
onto  the  sheets.   Because  obviously  there  was  more  a 
possibility  of  going  wrong  on  the  etching  than  there  was  on 
the  type.   So  actually  it  came  out  pretty  good.   And  Chuck 
Richardson  wrote  some  nice,  lighthearted  little  pieces 


100 


about  the  weeds.   So  that  was  another  herbal  book.   Like  I 
say,  I  don't  think  I  want  to  do  production  etching  again. 
ZIEGLER:   You  say  this  is  the  first  time  you  did  it? 
GERRY:   Right. 

ZIEGLER:   I  would  imagine  it's  very  hard.   I've  never  tried 
it — just  reading  descriptions. 

GERRY:   The  difficult  part  is  wiping  the  plate  off.   And 
even  though  these  were  not  big  plates,  it  took  a  lot  of 
time.   Then  the  plate  has  to  be  put  in  the  press  every 
time,  taken  out  every  time.   The  ink  has  to  be  worked  into 
the  intaglio.   The  surface  has  to  be  wiped  clean  and  then 
it  has  to  be  put  back  in  the  press.   I'd  worked  out  a  way 
so  I  could  register  each  page,  which  worked 
satisfactorily.   And  then  you  have  to  crank  it  by  hand 
through  the  press.   So  each  plate,  each  impression,  takes 
quite  a  while.   Probably  I  was  doing  six  an  hour. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  that  is  slow  going. 

GERRY:   I  don't  know,  maybe  I  could  do  twelve  an  hour,  but 
that's  really  bearing  down. 

ZIEGLER:   Since  you're  printing  intaglio,  it  must  be  very 
hard  to  be  sure  that  you're  getting  a  good  impression. 
Because  you  have  to  be  sure  that  the  ink  is  in  all  the 
indentations,  and  then  you  have  to  be  sure  that  the  paper 
is  pressed  down  enough  to  get  into  the  indentations. 
GERRY:   Right,  right.   Of  course,  that's  what — 


101 


ZIEGLER:   Without  having  so  much  ink  that  it  spills  over 
into  the  parts  that  aren't  indented. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   It's  amazing.   Sometimes  it  works,  and 
sometimes  it  doesn't.   Usually,  the  beginning  part--like 
you  say — the  ink  doesn't  get  all  the  way  in  the  bottom  of 
the  grooves.   It  takes  quite  a  while  to  work  it  in  there. 
And  then  how  much  of  the  surface  you  want  to  wipe  off  is  up 
to  the  person  that ' s  doing  the  wiping .   You  might  want  to 
leave  a  little  tone  on  there.   There's  one  I  did--  One  of 
the  weeds  was  morning  glories.   So  where  the  actual  flower 
was,  I  wiped  it  out  more  than  I  did  the  background,  so  that 
the  flower  sort  of  glowed  through  a  little  lighter  than  the 
background.   But  that  was  something  that  just  came  to  me 
while  I  was  doing  it.   I  didn't  intend  to  do  it  that  way 
when  I  started. 

Now,  let's  see,  David  W.  Davies,  House  Olson, 
Printer.   Davies  was  a  librarian  at  the  Honnald  Library  in 
Claremont.   He  retired  and  began  to  write  histories  of 
local  printers.   Originally  for  the  Castle  Press,  he  wrote 
the  story  of  the  Castle  Press  in  Pasadena.   And  he  wrote  a 
number  of  other  stories  I  can't  remember  right  now.   This 
particular  one  was  about  House  Olson,  who  was  a  very 
convivial  printer  and  had  been  one  of  the  founders  of  the 
Castle  Press.   This  was  just  concerning  his  own  life;  it 
was  a  short  book.   I  got  the  opportunity  to  print  it  and 


102 


publish  It. 

ZIEGLER:   Did  you  print  any  others  for  David  Davles? 
GERRY:   We  were  going  to,  but  then  he  died.   I  think  this 
was  the  only  one  I  did.   I  set  the  type,  and  I  had  Pat  do 
the  presswork  for  me.   I  bound  It  In  paper,  stiff 
wrappers.   Also,  some  were  bound  In  boards.   I  still  have 
some  sheets  of  It  that  I  may  bind  up  In  the  future.   It 
turned  out  to  be  a  book  I  was  proud  of  because  It  was 
original.   Let's  see.  It  had  a  tlpped-ln  picture  of  Olson, 
and  It  had  a  hand-colored  Initial  and  lots  of  letterpress 
examples--llnecut  examples--of  work  he  did,  the  typography 
he'd  done.   So  that's  part  of  a--  Glen  Dawson  called  It  a 
series  of  books  about  Los  Angeles  printers. 
ZIEGLER:   Is  llnecut  the  same  as  zinc  cut? 
GERRY:   Uh-huh  [affirmative].   It  just  means  It  doesn't 
have  a  halftone  screen.   It's  not  a  photograph  or  a 
paintlng--a  continuous  tone  process--lt ' s  just  black  or 
white,  period.   There  are  no  dot  patterns  In  It. 

Miriam  Bragdon,  Through  the  Garden  Gate.   Now,  here's 
a  typical  example  of  a  relative  getting  through  to  you.   It 
was  some  poems  of  a  very  distant  relative  of  mine.   She  was 
eighty  years  old  and  she  kept  saying,  "Hurry  up!   Hurry 
up!   I  want  this  done  before  I  die."   So  I  kept--  And,  of 
course,  I  think  she  may  still  be  alive!   This  was  done  In 
1975.   She  was  pretty  strict.   I  had  made  a  little 


103 


typographical  error  on  the  last  page,  and  I  kept  explaining 
to  her  how  this  happened  and  not  to  worry  about  it,  that  it 
was  perfectly  all  right.   But  she  insisted  that  I  do 
something  about  it,  and  I  couldn't  figure  out  what  to  do. 
I  kept  saying,  "That's  all  right.   You  know,  it's  just  what 
happens  in  printing."   No,  I  was  to  do  something  about 
it!   She  kept  on  the  phone  to  me  from  Chicago.   Finally — 
and  I  was  mad  enough  about  taking  on  the  job  in  the  first 
place- -I  took  a  razor  blade,  cut  the  back  page  off, 
reprinted  it,  and  tipped  it  on  in  the  little  booklet.   It 
was  kind  of  a  cute  little  book  of  her  poems. 
ZIEGLER:   I  think  you  drew  a  garden  gate  for  the  cover  or 
the  title  page  or  something. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  yeah.   I  did  a  nice  little  gate  for  her.   It 
wasn't  printed  very--  Could  have  been  printed  in  a  darker 
color  so  it  was  a  little  more  visible.   But  it  was  a  garden 
gate.   It  had  a  little  pansy  peeking  around  the  corner  of 
the  half -open  gate,  which  I  thought  she  would  love.   I 
thought  it  would  be  perfect  for  her  book.   But  she  never 
commented.   Even  when  I  pointed  it  out  to  her,  she  wasn't 
very  impressed.   She  was  impressed  with  her  own  poems, 
however!   Speaking  of  poems-- 

ZIEGLER:   Which,  as  I  remember,  were  sort  of  lifted  from 
Oklahoma  and  all  sorts  of  other  places. 
GERRY:   Oh,  really?  Did  you  read  some  of  the  poems? 


104 


ZIEGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah.   [laughter]   Well,  here's  poems--these 
were  a  little  better — by  Walt  Stanchfield,  who  I'd  done  a 
book  of  woodcuts  for  before  [Walt  Stanchfield:  A  Series  of 
Wood  Cuts] .   And  I  told  him —  He  had  his  poems,  and  he 
wanted  to  publish  them.   I  said,  "Well,  I  don't  do  poetry, 
but  if  you  give  me  some  small  woodcuts — "  All  his  woodcuts 
had  been  very  large  before.   "If  you  give  me  some  small 
woodcuts,  I  can  print  a  small  book,  a  6"  X  9"  book.   I'll 
do  the  poems . "   I  thought  that  that  would  keep  him  away  for 
years,  in  fact  perhaps  forever.   But  it  was  only  about  a 
month  later  that  a  box  full  of  cuts  arrived,  all  to 
illustrate  the  poems.   So  I  was  obliged  to  do  it. 

Wait  a  minute,  I'm  talking  about  the  wrong  book. 
Summer  Impressions  [and  Other  Poems]--  I'm  sorry,  cancel 
everything  I  said  about  Summer  Impressions.   Summer 
Impressions  was  a  book  of  poetry  I  published  for  Walt 
Stanchfield.   I  did  that  down  at  Laguna  [Beach]  in  1968, 
and  it  was  strictly  poems.   And  there's  nothing  I  can  say 
that's  memorable  about  the  book  at  all.   Even  the  title 
page  I  can't  remember.   Which  may  be  good,  because  that 
emphasizes  the  poetry.   So  that  was  that  experience. 
ZIEGLER:   I  remember  that  the  woodcuts  were  very 
attractive. 
GERRY:   Well,  that  was  another  book.   That  was  another  one 


105 


called  Spring-- 

ZIEGLER:   Oh.   Yeah,  I  guess  I'm  probably  mixing  up  the 
three  or  four  Walt  Stanchfield  books.   Yeah,  Spring  Barley: 
[Poems  of  the  Santa  Ynez  Valley]  was  the  one  that  had  such 
nice  woodcuts  and  a  beautiful  barley  design  on  the  cover. 
GERRY:   Yeah,  that  book  came  out  very  well. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  we  talk  about  Spring  Barley? 
GERRY:   I  think  we  did.   That  was  in  the  Western  Books 
Exhibition.   That  turned  out  to  be  a  very  good  book.   I'd 
done  it  on  a  handpress.   It  took  me  a  whole  solid  month, 
working  six,  seven  days  a  week.   So  even  though  I  have  a 
handpress  now--  It  was  a  terrible  lot  of  work  for  some 
reason.   I  think  I  tried  to  do  a  hundred  copies.   And  there 
were  multicolored  cuts.   I  mean,  the  cuts  were  not  all 
printed  in  black;  they  were  printed  in  several  colors. 
That  took  a  lot  of  careful  inking,  because  I  wanted  to  do 
it  in  the  same  impression.   I  did  it  on  damp  paper.   That's 
Spring  Barley  I'm  talking  about. 

The  Marvelous  Platen  Jobber  of  George  Phineas 
Gordon .   I  had  bought  a  little  press  in  about  '66,  maybe 
'67.   It  was  an  8'  X  12'  Challenge  Gordon.   I  took  it  all 
apart,  cleaned  it  all  up,  and  painted  it.   Made  it  all 
pretty  like  new.   And  that  became  my  press.   But  while  I'm 
taking  it  apart,  I  got  very  interested  in  the  Gordon 
press.   And  I  bought  a  book  at  Dawson's  called  The  Platen 


106 


called  Spring-- 

ZIEGLER:   Oh.   Yeah,  I  guess  I'm  probably  mixing  up  the 
three  or  four  Walt  Stanchfield  books.   Yeah,  Spring  Barley: 
[Poems  of  the  Santa  Ynez  Valley]  was  the  one  that  had  such 
nice  woodcuts  and  a  beautiful  barley  design  on  the  cover. 
GERRY:   Yeah,  that  book  came  out  very  well. 
ZIEGLER:   Did  we  talk  about  Spring  Barley? 
GERRY:   I  think  we  did.   That  was  in  the  Western  Books 
Exhibition.   That  turned  out  to  be  a  very  good  book.   I'd 
done  it  on  a  handpress.   It  took  me  a  whole  solid  month, 
working  six,  seven  days  a  week.   So  even  though  I  have  a 
handpress  now--  It  was  a  terrible  lot  of  work  for  some 
reason.   I  think  I  tried  to  do  a  hundred  copies.   And  there 
were  multicolored  cuts.   I  mean,  the  cuts  were  not  all 
printed  in  black;  they  were  printed  in  several  colors. 
That  took  a  lot  of  careful  inking,  because  I  wanted  to  do 
it  in  the  same  impression.   I  did  it  on  damp  paper.   That's 
Spring  Barley  I'm  talking  about. 

The  Marvelous  Platen  Jobber  of  George  Phineas 
Gordon.   I  had  bought  a  little  press  in  about  '66,  maybe 
'67.   It  was  an  8'  X  12'  Challenge  Gordon.   I  took  it  all 
apart,  cleaned  it  all  up,  and  painted  it.   Made  it  all 
pretty  like  new.   And  that  became  my  press.   But  while  I'm 
taking  it  apart,  I  got  very  interested  in  the  Gordon 
press.   And  I  bought  a  book  at  Dawson's  called  The  Platen 


106 


Jobber  by  Ralph  Green.   This  man  had  written  about  the 
platen  jobbers,  because  they  had  all  gone  out  of  style  and 
he  was  sorry  to  see  that  happen.   He  felt  there  should  be 
something  to  remember  the  platen  jobbers,  which  had  been  so 
popular  for  almost  a  hundred  years.   So  I  decided  I  would 
write  my  own  little  bit.   I  made  an  exploded  view  of  the 
platen  press,  the  Gordon  jobber.   I  made  an  exploded  view 
of  all  the  parts  and  cut  it  in  linoleum.   Then  there  were  a 
couple  of  other  little  illustrations  I  had.   I  wrote  a 
little  bit  of  text  and  put  it  all  together  in  a  broadsheet, 
which  I  still  have  some  of.   And  it  turned  out  to  be  pretty 
successful--I  can't  say  that  I'm  not  proud  of  it.   I  also 
redid  this  broadside  later  on  in  a  different  kind  of  type, 
using  the  same  cuts,  and  printed  it  better.   I  did  a  better 
job  of  printing  it.   And  also  used  the  type  and  the  cuts 
again  to  make  a  little  booklet  about  the  platen  jobber. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  here  are  some  things  that  I  saw  listed  as 
things  that  you  were  proposing  to  do.   And  I  wonder  which 
of  these  were  actually  done.   Also,  if  you  see  any  that  are 
missing  from  this  list,  if  you  could  mention  them  and  talk 
about  them. 

GERRY:  Marion  [A.]  Baker.  I  met  her.  She's  an  artist.  I 
met  her  here  at  UCLA.  A  bunch  of  us  had  come  to  some--  Not 
a  convention,  but  it  was  a  three-day  meeting.  People  spoke 
and  it  was-- 


107 


ZIEGLER:   Conference? 

GERRY:   Conference,  that's  what  it  was.   That's  why  I  met 
her.   She  was  interested  in  wood  engraving,  and  she  wanted 
to  learn  wood  engraving.   She  had  this  idea,  and  she  liked 
these  spice  boxes  that  she  collected.   I  said,  "You  make 
the  wood  engravings  and  write  me  the  text,  and  we'll  do  a 
little  book  on  it."   Of  course,  she  never  got  around  to 
it.   So  that  was  the  end  of  that.   Another  one  was 
Forgotten  California  Wineries  by  David  Hitchcock.   I  was 
trying  to  inspire  my  friend  in  his  retirement  to  write  me 
something  about  wine  that  would  be  of  interest  to  him  to 
research,  because  he  liked  to  travel  around  California. 
Well,  as  I  told  you  before,  he  wasn't  interested  in  doing 
that  much  work.   It  didn't  appeal  to  him,  so  he  didn't  do 
it. 

Dan  [Daniel]  Bailey  did  write  me  something  about  a 
Bloody  Mary,  but  I  didn't  think  he  really  had  done 
satisfactory  research  as  to  the  origins  of  the  Bloody  Mary 
drink.   Because  I  was  going  to  do  it  for  the  Food  and  Drink 
series.   So  it's  sort  of  lying  around.   I  edited  it  a 
couple  of  times  and  had  him  rewrite  it  a  couple  of  times, 
and  it's  just  sort  of  lying  there.   It  may  be  done  some 
day. 

Square-Back  Binding  for  the  Small  Printer.   I  had 
written  a  manuscript  with  all  the  drawings  for  how  to  bind 


108 


your  own  book  at  home.   [It  was  for]  a  small-time 
printer.   But  I  never--  Who  could  care?   I  mean,  there  are 
so  many  bookbinding  classes  around,  I  don't  think--  It  was 
for  edition  binding  for  a  small  printer.   It  was  some  sort 
of  dream  that  I  just  never  got  around  to  doing. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  think  there  would  be  people  interested  in 
it. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  could  be.   But  then  I  began  to  realize  my  own 
system  of  binding  was  kind  of  unorthodox,  and  maybe  I'd  be 
spreading  the  wrong  word  to  people  about  how  to  bind. 
ZIEGLER:   Is  there  an  orthodoxy  of  binding? 
GERRY:   Oh,  yes. 

ZEIGLER:   Anything  that  works  I  think  would  be  acceptable. 
GERRY:   Well,  that  is  sort  of  my  theory,  but  I  think  a 
person  who  is  a  real  binder  would  probably  find  fault  with 
some  of  the  things  I've  invented  myself.   I  mean  the 
process  I  do,  which  may  be  very  wrong  according  to  a  real 
bookbinder,  because  I  more  or  less  taught  it  to  myself. 
ZIEGLER:   What  do  you  do?   Could  you  describe  it? 
GERRY:   Well,  maybe  the  way  I  glue  the  papers  on  or  the  way 
I  sew  it.   Or  the  way —  When  you  look  at  the  book,  you'd 
probably  say,  "Well,  yeah,  it  looks  just  like  any  square- 
back  book."   But  I'm  sure  a  binder  or  a  connoisseur  could 
find  some  fault  with  it.   And  I  sort  of  thought  maybe  I  was 
passing  on  some  information  that  people  would  have  to 


109 


unlearn  at  a  later  date. 

Gentleman's  Cooking  Book,  I  still  want  to  do  that.   A 
male  chauvinist  pig's  cookbook,  but  I  wouldn't  call  it 
that. 

ZIEGLER:   [laughter]   What  makes  it  a  male  chauvinist  pig's 
cookbook? 

GERRY:   Oh,  it  would  have  recipes  of  things  that  men  like 
to  eat. 

ZIEGLER:   Such  as? 

GERRY:   Corned  beef  hash  and--  What  else?   Things  like 
that,  that  a  man  cooks  when  he's  home  and  he's  "baching" 
it.   When  his  wife's  away  or-- 
ZIEGLER:   Real  men  eat  corned  beef  hash! 

GERRY:   Right,  real  men's  food.   I  fiddled  around  with  it 
for  a  long  time,  and  I  keep  thinking,  you  know,  it's  one  of 
those  things  that  I'll  do  someday.   I  met  a  fellow  who's  a 
writer  and  also  interested  in  food.   I  may  say,  "Hey,  how 
about  you  writing  it  for  me?"   But  I  don't  know.   It's  just 
kind  of  hard  to--  I  just  have  to  sit  down  and  work  at  it 
for  a  long  time.   I  have  thousands  of  recipes,  and  I  have 
to  beat  it  down  to  a  reasonable  number.   A  reasonable 
number  of  foods  that  only  men  eat! 

ZIEGLER:   [laughter]   What  are  some  of  the  others? 
GERRY:   Well,  I  wish  I  could  remember  to  tell  you  now.  Oh, 
I  suppose  chili--there  would  be  a  lot  of  chili  recipes. 


110 


What  else  was  there?   Corned  beef  hash.   Seems  like  I  could 

remember.   Oh,  just  things  here  and  there  that  I —  Oh,  beef 

bourguignonne,  and  things  that  are  fairly  easy  to  make. 

The  recipes  are  just  written  in  prose.   There's  not  a  big 

list  of  ingredients  or  how  much  of  each  ingredient.   It's 

sort  of  up  to  the  man  to  throw  it  in  the  pot. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  in  fact,  I  think  women  will  enjoy  your 

cookbook ,  too . 

GERRY:   Oh,  sure 

ZIEGLER:   And  I  must  say,  I  once  made  beef  bourguignonne 

over  a  camp fire. 

GERRY:   Oh,  really? 

ZEIGLER:   Yes. 

GERRY:   That  sounds  great.   [laughter]   No  kidding!   Where 

was  that? 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  was  camping  up  at  Santa  Barbara,  out  in 

the  mountains  behind  Santa  Barbara,  at  a  place  I  really 

love  called  Los  Osos. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah. 

ZIEGLER:   Upper  Oso  is  the  name  of  it. 

GERRY:   Oh,  Oso,  okay. 

ZIEGLER:   You  marinate  the  beef  in  red  wine,  you  know.   So 

what  I  did  was  marinate  the  beef  and  all  the  spices  in  the 

wine  and  then  just  freeze  it.   I  took  this  solid  block  of 

stuff  with  me.   And  then,  on  the  first  night  out,  I  had  a 


111 


big  heavy  iron  pot,  and  I  just  stuck  the  big  heavy  iron  pot 
right  down  in  the  campfire,  with  this  mixture  in  it,  and 
cooked  it  up. 

GERRY:   Oh,  golly.   That  sounds  great! 

ZIEGLER:   It  was.   Anyway,  could  you  tell  me  some  about 
doing  Weather  Bird?   Your  little  magazine  or  newsletter 
that  you  put  out  and  designed  very  attractively  each  time. 
GERRY :   Yes ,  Weather  Bird.   One  time  at  Dawson ' s  Book 
Store,  I  ran  across  a  portfolio  that  said  "newsletter  of 
the  Curwen  Press."   It  had,  oh,  say,  six  newsletters  in 
there.   And  it  was  very  reasonably  priced.   I  mean,  it  was 
$5  or  something  like  this.   I  thought,  "Gee,  this  looks 
sort  of  interesting."   I  knew  nothing  about  the  Curwen 
Press.   I  suppose  I'd  heard  of  it,  but  I  knew  nothing  about 
it.   These  little  newsletters  were  about  printing,  so  I 
just  bought  them  for  the  fun  of  it  and  because  they  were 
cheap.   I'd  read  them  over  and  over,  and  they  were  very 
intriguing,  how  they  had  foldouts  and  they  had  used  mostly 
material  that  they  had  already  printed.   This  was  just  like 
an  advertising  thing  they  sent  out  to  their  customers.   I 
thought,  "I'll  do  one.   I'll  just  use  old  paper  and  I'll 
use  cuts  that  are  already  done,  and  I'll  print  samples  of 
title  pages  I  may  still  have  standing  around.   Just  to  show 
what  the  Weather  Bird  press  has  done.   I  thought  I'd  do  it 
every  quarter,  I  suppose.   I  was  very,  very  hard-pressed  to 


112 


do  it  once  a  year.   But  the  first  one  came  out--  I  can't 
remember  what  year,   I  tried  to  keep  it  lighthearted  in  a 
light,  more  of  an  amusing  sort  of  way.   This  sort  of 
writing.   Comments  on  whatever  I  was  showing.   I  tried  to 
keep  it  lighthearted.   So  I  did  the  first  one,  and  I  didn't 
promise  myself  anything,  like  I'd  do  another  one.   But  the 
second  year  was  coming  around,  and  I  thought,  "Well,  I'll 
do  one  more."   And  after  ten  years  I  couldn't  believe  it, 
I'd  done  ten  of  them.   I  mean,  maybe  that's  not  much  of  an 
accomplishment.   But  it's  an  accomplishment  for  me,  because 
it's  amazing  that  I  was  able  to  do  it  for  ten  years.   But 
it  was  really  started  because  of  those  Curwen  Press 
newsletters.   Since  then,  I've  tried  to  get  a  complete 
collection,  and  no  matter  how  much  money  it  might  cost,  I 
still  can't  get  a  complete  collection  of  the  Curwen 
letters.   There's  one  I  have  that's  missing,  and  I  think 
they  only  did  twelve.   I  don't  know.   Somewhere  around 
twelve  or  fifteen.   That's  how  that  came  about.   I  may  do 
it  again  someday,  I  don't  know.   It  was  very  enjoyable,  in 
spite  of  the  fact  that  I  was  always  pressed  to  get  material 
for  it.   There  was  only  an  eight-page  booklet. 
ZIEGLER:   Also  very  informative.   You  have  little  essays 
on,  well,  for  instance.  Herb  Yellin  and  Lord  John  Press.   I 
remember  really  enjoying  one  essay  with  samples  about  how 
you  do  different  cover  patterns  for  binding,  things  like 


113 


that. 

GERRY:   The  ideas  mostly  came  from  the  Curwen  Press 
newsletters,  I  think.   That  was  my  inspiration  for  doing 
that.   I  did  keep  some.   I  kept  twenty-five  of  every  copy, 
and  then  I  issued  a  collection  in  a  portfolio.   Not  unlike 
the  Curwen  Press  portfolio.   I  think  I  had  some  paste  paper 
covers  on  it  tied  together  with  a  string.   They  sold  right 
away.   Everybody  wanted  one,  and  they  were  gone.   I  think  I 
just  have  one  copy  now.   [tape  recorder  off] 
ZIEGLER:   Can  you  think  of  any  other  books? 

GERRY:   I  can't,  Rebecca,   I  haven't  made  a  list  of  all  the 
books  I've  done  for  a  long  time.   When  I  only  had  three  or 
four  books,  I  was  always  making  lists  of  all  of  my 
publications.   But  I  haven't  for  a  long  time.   It  seems 
like  you've  covered  a  great  many,  if  not  every  one  of 
them.   I  guess  I  said  I  was  working  right  now  on  a 
supplement  to  The  San  Pasqual  Press:  [A  Dream  Nearly 
Realized] .   I  think  we  covered  the  San  Pasqual  Press 
earlier,  in  last  session.   That's  the  most  recent  book  I've 
done,  I  think.   The  story  of  the  San  Pasqual  Press.   And  I 
guess  recently  I  got  some  more  information.   I  was  able  to 
talk  directly  with  Val  Trefz,  who  was  one  of  the 
founders.   I  discovered  he's  still  living  down  in  Orange 
County . 
ZIEGLER:   What's  he  doing  now? 


114 


GERRY:   He's  retired,  but  his  press  is  still  going--called 
the  Trefz  Press- -and  his  son  [Steve  Trefz]  is  managing  it 
now.   So  that  little  bit  of  extra  information,  plus  some 
other  San  Pasqual  Press  books  I  found  through  Val  Trefz, 
caused  me  to  print  the  supplement.   Ed  [Edwin  H.]  Carpenter 
is  looking  at  the  proofs  right  now,  to  make  sure  that  I  do 
the  bibliography — that  is  one  of  his  specialties--that  I  do 
the  bibliography  right. 

Then  I  plan  to  do  books  I  have--  I'm  guilty  of 
announcing  books  I'm  going  to  do  and  then  not  doing  them, 
but  I'll  tell  you  anyway.   The  book  of  Southern  California 
Seaside  Plants,  which  will  be  done  on  linoleum  cuts,  and  I 
hope  that  [Charles  Leland]  Richardson  will  write  it  for 
me.   That  will  probably  be  the  biggest,  most  difficult  of 
books  I'll  ever  do.   I  will  probably  do  it  on  a 
handpress.   And  the  cuts  will  be  multicolored.   I  don't 
know  how  many  I'll  do--maybe  fifty  copies  will  be  about  all 
I  can  do  on  a  handpress.   And  I'll  probably  bind  it  myself. 

Then  one  that's  been  in  work  for  a  long  time  called 
The  Butterfly's  Ball  and  the  Grasshopper's  Feast.   A  very 
early  children's  poem. 
ZEIGLER:   Oh,  that  sounds  like  fun. 

GERRY:   It's  supposedly  the  first  children's  poem  that 
didn't  have  a  lesson  or  a  moral  to  it. 
ZIEGLER:   Sounds  like  it  would  be  fun  to  illustrate.   Are 


115 


you  going  to  illustrate  it? 

GERRY:   I've  worked  out  almost  all  the  illustrations  on 

that.   Again,  to  be  cut  in  linoleum,  but  to  be  printed  only 

in  one  color,  probably  in  black.   And  then  we  mentioned  The 

Gentleman's  Cooking  Book,  which  is  still  fairly  vague.   I 

should  have  brought  my  list  of  things  I  want  to  do.   I 

can't  remember  any  others  right  now. 

ZIEGLER:   Let's  see,  I  know  of  a  few  that  I  somehow  didn't 

make  slips  for.   There  was  Dibden's  Ghost  that  you  did  for 

Lorson ' s  bookshop . 

GERRY:   That  was  a  Christmas  giveaway,  I  think.   I  don't 

know,  maybe  he  did  sell  them.   I  did  quite  a  few  I  think. 

There  were  five  hundred,  and  I  think  his  [James  E. 

Lorson's]  wife  [Joan  Lorson]  offered  to  sell  them.   She's 

probably  still  selling  them. 

ZIEGLER:   I  enjoyed  that  so  much  that  I  xeroxed  a  copy  of 

your  proofs  for  myself.   Because  we  learned  about  Thomas 

Frognall  Dibden  in  my  analytical  bibliography  course  last 

quarter,  and  I  found  it  entertaining. 

GERRY:   I  confess  that  when  Jim  brought  me  the  poem,  I 

said,  "Who  the  heck  is  this  Dibden?"   He  said,  "You  ought 

to  know.   He  was  a  great  bookman."   That  was  my 

introduction  to  Dibden,  although  I  know  a  little  bit  about 

him.   If  I  find  a  copy,  I'll  send  it  to  you.   But  you'll 

probably  be  gone  to  Arizona  by  then. 


116 


ZIEGLER:   Very  likely. 

GERRY:   I'm  sure  Jim's  got  plenty  of  them. 

ZIEGLER:   And  there  was  also — I  don't  know  why  I  didn't  get 

a  card  made  for  this  either — T.  H.  White's  Christmas  at 

Forest  Sauvage. 

GERRY:   That  was  excerpted  from  The  Sword  and  the  Stone.   I 

always  loved  that  Christmas  section  of  the  book,  so  I  did 

it  without  getting  permission.   I  figured  I  wasn't  going  to 

make  any  money  on  it,  maybe  they  wouldn't  prosecute  me.   I 

was  only  going  to  give  it  to  my  friends.   I  did  some  little 

wood  engravings  that  weren't  too  good. 

ZIEGLER:   I  think  that  would  fall  within  the  doctrine  of 

fair  use,  as  they  say  in  the  copyright  law. 

I  wonder  if  you  could  talk  a  little  more  about  your 
partnership  with  Pat  Reagh. 

GERRY:   I  was  in  Fallbrook  and  I  had  my  shop  going.   I  had 
come  up  to  Los  Angeles  a  couple  of  times,  and  I'd  heard 
about  Pat  Reagh  and  I'd  seen  some  of  his  work.   I  was  very 
impressed.   I  think  Bill  [William]  Dailey  of  Dailey's  book- 
shop [William  and  Victoria  Dailey  Rare  Books  and  Fine  Prints] 
had  discovered  Pat  and  was  using  him  to  print  something.   The 
first  thing  I  saw  was  the  Southern  California  Book  Dealers 
Association  Directory.   It's  probably  the  wrong  title,  but  it 
was  a  beautiful  job  Pat  had  done. 

So  one  time  over  at  the  Castle  Press,  there  was  some 


117 


event  there,  and  Pall  [W.]  Bohne  introduced  me  to  Pat.   We 
talked,  and  I  told  him  how  much  I  liked  his  things  and  so 
on.   He  may  have  even  said  then,  "Maybe  we  should  go  in  and 
be  partners . "   I  don ' t  know  why  he  wanted  to  be  partners , 
to  tell  you  the  truth.   He  liked  the  kind  of  work  I  did. 
So  I  can't  really  tell  you  how.   I  guess  I  probably  had  a 
fantasy  of  us  having  this  printshop  that  would  really 
satisfy  all  of  my  dreams.   So  I  finally  agreed  with  Pat.   I 
said,  "Okay,  let's  be  partners."   And  we  went  over  our 
equipment  and  said,  "We'll  keep  this,  and  we'll  get  rid  of 
that,  and  we're  going  to  get  this."   And  he  was  going  to 
buy  Lillian  Marks ' s  Heidelberg  cylinder  press.   That  was 
the  biggest  move  of  all  for  him,  and  for  me  too. 

So  we  had  looked  around,  and  I  found  a  place  in 
Glendale  right  near  the  train  station  which  seemed  to  be 
the  right  place  for  us.   It  was  a  kind  of  an  industrial 
neighborhood,  and  it  wasn't  too  run-down  but  it  wasn't  too 
expensive.   We  were  going  to  try  to  be  cheap.   It  had 
enough  square  feet.   We  figured  how  many  square  feet  we 
needed.   I  can't  remember,  two  thousand  or  something  like 
that  we  needed.   So  we  moved  in  there  around  ' 80  or  '81,  I 
can't  remember  for  sure.   And  here  was  all  this  stuff,  all 
of  our  equipment.   I  brought  everything  I  could  from 
Fallbrook  that  would  fit  on  a  truck.   Everything  we  had 
moved  ourselves,  plus  what  the  movers  had  moved,  was  heaped 


118 


in  the  middle  of  the  shop. 

We  must  have  spent  two  months  trying  to  put  it  all 
together,  arranging  it  and  sorting  it  out  and  trying  to  get 
an  electrician.   We  had  difficulty.   No  electrician  would 
touch  the  job  because  the  building  was  so  old.   Finally  we 
complained  to  the  landlord.   I  mean,  here  we  were  stuck 
with  this —  You  know,  it  had  cost  us  thousands  of  dollars 
in  professional  fees  to  have  this  equipment  moved.   We  were 
stuck.   So  we  were  kind  of  panicked,  and  I  thought  I  might 
even  have  to  go  back  to  work  until  we  got  some  of  the 
problems  straightened  out.   Finally  we  talked  to  the 
landlord,  and  he  got  someone  to  bootleg  in  the  wiring  for 
us.   We  were  all  wired  up  and  pretty  soon  ready  to  go,  and 
eventually  jobs  that  had  been  waiting,  you  know,  couldn't 
wait  any  longer.   We  had  to  get  on  them.   It  sort  of 
overlapped,  the  arranging  of  the  shop  and  getting  some  work 
done.   In  fact  some  work  we  had  to  have  at  one  time  done  on 
the  outside  for  one  client.   We  didn't  even  have  a  printing 
press  that  would  work. 

But  eventually  it  really  got  going.   I  think  that 
first  year  I  stayed  with  Pat,  we  did  more  books  than  he  may 
have  ever  done  in  any  one  year  since.   Now,  it  may  have 
been  a  good  year  for  books.   Everybody  wanted  to  publish. 
Publishing  was  still  profitable.   I  think  a  lot  of  the 
publishers,  like  Yellin  and  [Ralph]  Sylvester  and  [Stathis] 


119 


Orphanos,  had  to  cut  back  in  later  years. 

We  worked  a  long  time.   I  tell  you,  we  just  worked  all 
the  time.   That's  about  all  we  did  was  work.   I  think  all 
the  things  we  did  turned  out  very  well.   I'm  surprised  at 
some  of  the  incidental  things  we  had  time  to  do.   I  can't 
think  how  we  did  it.   And  Pat  bought  a  house  near  the  area 
and  he  moved  in  there,  right  near  his  shop.   He's  still  in 
the  same  shop.   And  it's  still  essentially  the  same 
equipment.   After  I  left  I  took  out  the  Linotype,  which  he 
wasn't  too  fond  of.   I  think  we  made  a  mistake  by  keeping-- 
We  had  two  vertical  presses,  and  we  kept  his  and  not 
mine.   I  think  we  should  have  kept  mine.   His  was  cleaner, 
but  mine  was  easier  to  operate.   But  then  the  Heidelberg 
was  such  a  marvelous  press  that  we  eventually  didn't  even 
use  the  vertical,  and  Pat  finally  got  rid  of  it.   I  moved 
the  Linotype  out.   As  a  matter  of  fact,  I  had  to  junk  it, 
because  I  couldn't  sell  it  to  anybody.   Nobody  would  even 
take  it  off  my  hands,  so  I  had  to  junk  it.   And  I  took  out 
some  other  things  there  when  we  broke  up  the  partnership. 
ZIEGLER:   Why  did  you  decide  to  discontinue  it? 
GERRY:   I  think  I  was  probably  too  old.   I  was  about  fifty- 
one  when  we  started.   Pat  was  only  about  thirty  I  think.   I 
was  not  professionally  trained  as  a  printer.   I  was  doing 
things  in  an  amateur  way,  and  Pat  kind  of  didn't  like  that, 
naturally.   He  wanted  things  done  more  professionally.   And 


120 


he  was  right.   If  it  was  a  business,  we  couldn't  fool 
around  like  amateurs.   I  had  made  a  lot  of  mistakes  that 
made  me  unhappy  about  being  in  the  business.   So  much 
depended  on  accuracy,  and  I  had  made  mistakes  which  cost  us 
money.   So  I,  you  know,  I  just  told  Pat,  "I  can't  do  the 
partnership  deal  anymore.   I  want  to  get  out  of  it." 
"Fine."   It  was  okay  with  him.   He  always  asked  me  to  come 
back  to  work,  but  I  think  I  wasn't  prepared  to  work  all 
that  hard  all  that  time.   So  I  went  back  to  the  Disney 
Studio  for  the  easy  money.   And  I  might  add,  we  made  very 
little  money  at  the  business. 

Pat  does  all  right  now,  but  the  first  year  is  probably 
the  toughest.   Pat  has  a  reputation,  and  rightly  so,  of 
being  the  best  printer  in  Southern  California  as  far  as  the 
bookwork  goes  and  letterpress .   He ' s  since  come  onto  some 
later-model  typesetting  equipment.   So  it's  been  almost  ten 
years  now  that  he's  been  in  the  larger  shop  situation.   So 
it's  well  seasoned.   He  is  doing  work  for  the  Book  Club  of 
California  right  at  this  minute,  and  he's  made  a  good 
success  of  it.   Whether  I  was  there  or  not,  I'm  sure  he 
would  have  anyway.   It  probably  took  two  people  to  have 
enough  money  and  enough  energy  to  get  it  that  step  up  from 
where  he  was  on  Ninth  Street.   So  that's  about  what  I 
contributed  then,  that  one  step  up.   It  was  quite  an 
experience,  I'll  tell  you,  that  year  that  we  worked 


121 


together.   Somewhere  in  one  of  my  newsletters  I  published  a 

list  of  books  we  did  that  year. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  saw  that.   That  was  a  pretty  impressive 

turnout . 

I'm  just  looking  here  to  see  what  other  questions  I 
had  written  down.   Okay,  I  wonder  if  we  could  move  to  some 
of  the  questions  about  design  of  printed  matter  and  books 
in  general.   First  of  all,  maybe  we  can  talk  about 
different  typefaces  and  how  you  go  about  choosing  a 
typeface.   I  have  here  a  xerox  of  your  sample  of  the 
typefaces  of  the  Weather  Bird  Press.   It  might  be  a  good 
way  to  approach  this  if  you  want  to  look  at  it  and  just 
comment  on  each  typeface  and  in  what  circumstances  you 
would  use  that  typeface  and  what  connotations  it  has,  what 
impression  it  gives,  and  things  like  that. 
GERRY:   Well,  the  first  one  we've  got  here  is  Helvetica. 
And  I  bought  that  strictly  for  commercial  work.   When  I  had 
my  shop  and  I  was  going  to  try  to  make  it  successful  and 
make  it  support  itself,  I  figured  I  needed  an  up-to-date 
type,  which  was  Helvetica.   It  was  a  very  popular  face  at 
that  time  for  commercial  work.   I  don't  think  I  ever  used 
it  very  much,  and  it  was  the  first  thing  I  sold  when  I  left 
that  situation. 

ZIEGLER:   And  that's  a  sans  serif  type.   Could  you  talk  a 
little  about  using  sans  serif  types  and  what  you  think  they 


122 


could  [inaudible] . 

GERRY:   I'm  not  fond  of  sans  serif  types.   Like  I  said,  I 
only  got  this  because  of  its  appeal  to  customers  who  wanted 
to  be  up-to-date.   I  am  not  a  fan  of  these  faces.   I  don't 
know  why  they  even  came  up  with  Helvetica.   They've  been 
through  so  many  sans  serif  types  in  the  advertising 
typography  in  such  a  short  time.   I  mean,  what  was  wrong 
with  Futura?   It  was  excellent.   One  of  the  first  sans  serif 
faces  was  Futura,  and  it  is  just  as  good  as  any  of  them. 
Unfortunately,  it  was  a  victim  of  fashion.   And  they  came  up 
and  they  had  Venus;  they  all  wanted  to  use  Venus.   There 
were  a  couple  of  other--  Franklin  Gothic  was  revived.   Not 
bad  at  all,  Franklin  Gothic.   Then  they  came  to  Universe  and 
Helvetica,  and  they  were  all  types  that  did  not  interest  me 
personally,  although  I  could  certainly  see  their  use  in  the 
commercial  world.   I  much  prefer  the  older  types,  the  faces 
with  serifs  on  them.   The  first  type  that  I  ever  got  that 
was  worth  a  darn  for  the  machine  was  a  Fairfield,  which  was 
Rudolf  Ruzicka's  Linotype  face.   I  had  that  in  two  sizes, 
and  I  used  that  quite  a  bit.   I  don't  think  I  particular ly-- 
Every  printer  falls  in  love  with  a  type  at  one  time  and  then 
falls  out  of  love  later  on.   The  one  type  that  I  will 
probably  never  tire  of  is  Linotype  Janson.   And,  of  course, 
they  have  foundry  Janson  and  Monotype  Janson.   But  the 
Janson  type  for  typesetting  machines  is  the  one  I  will  never 


123 


tire  of.   I  think  I  like  the  Linotype —  With  the  exception 
of  the  Linotype  italic  Janson,  I  like  it  maybe  better  than 
the  Monotype  Janson,  which  is  a  little  lighter  weight. 
ZIEGLER:   Can  I  take  a  look  at  the  sample  of  the  Janson? 
GERRY:   I  don't  think  I  had  Janson  when  I  did  this 
catalog.   It  was  something  I  always  wanted,  but  it  was 
never  for  sale  used.   All  my  Linotype  faces  I  bought  used, 
except  for  the  Helvetica,  at  this  period  when  I  had  the 
little  shop  in  Laguna. 

ZIEGLER:   Where  do  you  buy  used  types  or  how  do  you  find 
out  about  used  types? 

GERRY:   Oh,  there  were  lots  of  dealers  in  Los  Angeles  who 
were  selling  used  Linotype  matrices,  because  the  technology 
was  changing  around  the  late  sixties.   More  and  more 
printers  were  getting  rid  of  their  hot  metals,  and  the 
dealers  were  loaded  up  with  it.   You  could  get  it  at  a  very 
reasonable  price  sometimes.   I  got  mattes  at  nine  cents 
apiece,  and  they  were  selling  them  new  at  thirty- five  cents 
apiece.   You  took  your  chances.   When  you  bought  it  used, 
you  might  end  up  not  having  all  the  characters  if  you 
bought  used  fonts  from  questionable  sources.   Some  dealers, 
like  Mid-West  Matrix,  would  send  you  a  proof  and  they  were 
very  careful  to  make  sure  their  fonts  were  operable.   Other 
people  who  sold  things  cheaper- - 


124 


TAPE  NUMBER:   IV,  SIDE  ONE 
MAY  4,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   Okay.   I  don't  know  all  of  the  typefaces.   And  I 
don't  know  much  about  Janson.   Could  you  describe  it?   Is 
it  an  old  style  or  a  modern  style? 

GERRY:   Janson  was,  I  think,  a  Dutch  face  that  preceded 
Caslon.   And  [William]  Caslon  when  he  cut  his  famous  face — 
named  Caslon- -he  may  have  been  influenced  by  the  Dutch 
types.   Janson  was  one  of  them.   It  has  many  similarities 
to  Caslon.   However,  to  me,  it's  a  little  closer  set,  and 
the  width  of  the  letters--  You  get  more  letters  per  line 
than  you  can  with  Caslon. 

ZIEGLER:   So  it  gives  a  denser,  darker  look  to  the  type 
block? 

GERRY:   It  doesn't  call  attention  to  itself  as  much  as 
Caslon  does.   Every  time  you  see  Caslon,  you  go,  "Bingo! 
Caslon."   But  people,  most  people,  when  you  see  Janson  you 
don't  think  about  it.   I  like  Janson,  because  it  was  a  very 
uneven  type.   Almost  crude  in  some  respects,  but  crude  in  a 
very  nice  way.   Another  face  I  liked,  which  I  always 
thought  would  be  an  excellent  contrast  to  Janson,  if  you 
could  have  two  faces  on  a  machine,  would  be  Electra.   It 
was  [William]  Dwiggins ' s  face,  his  masterpiece  of 
typesetting  machine  face.   I  had  some  Electra  for  quite  a 
while,  but  not  anymore.   I  don't  know,  I'm  just  telling  you 

125 


my  own  personal  taste  in  type.   I  don't  know  if  that's 
exactly  what  I  should  be  telling  you.   Or  was  that  what  you 
asked? 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  it's  all  interesting.   I  wonder  if  you 
could  talk  some  more  about  maybe  the  sort  of  artistic 
connotations  of  typefaces  or  what  sorts  of  material  you 
would  consider  different  typefaces  especially  appropriate 
for,  just  in  looking  right  for  the  material. 
GERRY:   Oh,  my  own  personal  feeling  is  that,  yes,  typefaces 
are  sometimes  more  appropriate  for  one  thing  than 
another.   But  for  the  most  part,  I  think  a  printer  gets  a 
new  typeface  because  he  likes  the  type  and  he's  never  had 
it  before.   He  uses  it  for  whatever  job  comes  up  first  and 
tells  himself  that  it's  appropriate  for  that  particular 
job,  that  particular  book,  that  particular  text.   I  think 
that  there's  an  awfully  broad  range  of  types  which  are 
appropriate. 

ZIEGLER:   I  saw,  though,  that  you  had  done  some  interesting 
things  with  some  things  that  were  sort  of  nineteenth 
century.   And,  in  the  impression  you  were  trying  to  give, 
you  did  use  some  of  those  highly  ornamented  typefaces  that 
[A.  J.]  Corrigan  made  such  fun  of.   I  thought  that  was 
great,  because  it  gave  that  nineteenth-century  look  to 
it.   I  remember  one  case--  I'm  afraid  I  don't  remember 
which  book,  but  you  had  chosen  a  "modern  style"  typeface  in 


126 


the  old  meaning  of  "modern  style, "  which  was  modern  in  the 
eighteenth  century.   I  thought  it  looked  especially 
appropriate,  because  it  was  something  with  a  sort  of 
journalistic,  nineteenth-century  slant. 

GERRY:   Oh.   I  can't  remember  that.   I  can't  remember  which 
one  that  would  be.   I  think  that  to  do  what  they  call 
allusive  typography  is  always  entertaining  to  the  one 
person  trying  to  do  it.   To  try  to  imitate  a  period  of 
typography.   Or  suggest- -better  if  you  suggest  a  period  of 
typography.   It's  an  intriguing  thing  to  do  for  a  printer, 
for  a  designer.   [Grant]  Dahlstrom  was  certainly  excellent 
at  that.   And  he-- 

ZIEGLER:   Would  he  ever  give  you  any  advice,  like  saying, 
"This  typeface  is  not  really  appropriate  for  what  you're 
printing"  or--? 

GERRY:   Oh,  sure,  yes.   Definitely.   And  typefaces  that  he 
just  didn't  like  period,  he  had  plenty  of  comment  on.   A 
lot  of  [Frederic]  Goudy's  faces  he  didn't  like.   But  most 
of  the  printers  that  have  influenced  me  have  always  gone 
more  for  the  book  types--book  faces--like  Bembo  and 
Janson.   Those  are  the  two  really  nice  ones.   Then  there 
are  more  Monotype  faces,  Fournier  and  Bembo  narrow 
italic.   Gosh,  I  can't  think  of  them  right  offhand. 

Monotype  was  the  one  that  made  the  most  influential 
contribution  to  types  of  our  time  under  [Stanley]  Morison 


127 


and  the  English  Monotype  Company.   The  American  Monotype 
Company  I  don't  think  did  very  much  in  the  way  of 
contributing  types.   Perhaps  in  the  linecasting  machines, 
like  the  Linotype  and  the  intertype.   [C.  H.]  Griffith  with 
the  Linotype  Company  came  up  with  some  very  good  types, 
Janson  for  one.   And  then  Dwiggins ' s  Electra,  I  thought,  was 
a  good  face.   Some  of  his  other  more--  Caledonia,  Dwiggins ' s 
Caledonia,  which  I  don't  particularly  like,  but  that  was 
very  popular  for  a  while.   But  the  real  classical--  The 
faces  that  alluded  to  classic  types  were  really  revived  by 
the  English  Monotype  Company.   The  typefounders  themselves, 
I  think,  like  American  typefounders,  didn't  contribute  much 
to  book  types.   Of  course,  that  wasn't  their  business  by 
then.   Nobody  was  going  to  set  a  book  by  hand  anyway.   They 
contributed  more  in  the  advertising  field.   And  then  most  of 
the  little  local  typefounders  were  casting  from  Monotype 
matrices.   So  Monotype  had  a  large  influence,  because  the 
typefounder  could  just  buy  the  Monotype  mattes  and  a 
Thompson  machine  and  be  in  the  typefounding  business.   He 
didn't  have  to  design  or  cut  or  have  the  expensive  problems 
of  designing  his  own  type.   So  what  else  am  I  supposed  to — ? 
I  can't  think  of  anything. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  would  you  like  to  look  over  this  and  see  if 
there  are  any  other  typefaces  there  that  you'd  like  to 
comment  on? 


128 


GERRY:   Well,  the  Monotype  Bembo  is  about  the  nicest  face 
done  in  our  time,  and  it's  a  revival  of  a  Venetian  sort  of 
face.   It's  not  really  Venetian,  but  it's  a  type  that  comes 
from  quite  a  long  time  ago.   I'd  say  it's  the  best,  most 
long-lasting  of  our  twentieth-century  book-face  revivals. 
And  John  Bell,  that's  another  great  revival  of  a 
nineteenth-century  type,  but  which  was  sort  of  the 
predecessor  to  moderns.   The  Scotch  Roman  probably  followed 
this.   I  say  nineteenth  century,  but  I  see  the  date  here  is 
actually  1788.   So  it's  just  before  the  turn  of  the 
century.   The  Monotype  people  revived  John  Bell  in  their 
version.   Linotype  did  something  vaguely  similar  in  their 
Monticello,  but  it  was  too  soft.   Janson,  of  course,  the 
original  Janson,  was  around  in  1690.   Of  course,  we're 
looking  at  a  book  of  types  that  I  had  in  my  printshop. 
Then  there  were  some  decorative  faces  here  which  I —  And 
then  in  the  fifties,  the  1950s,  there  was  a  revival  of 
nineteenth-century  Victorian  faces.   The  founders  dug  into 
their  files  and  cast  up  a  lot  of  these  faces  which  they'd 
had  since  the  nineteenth  century- -since  Victorian  times. 
They  cast  those  up,  and  people  were  very  fond  of  using 
those. 

ZIEGLER:   They  could  do  a  lot  of-- 

GERRY:   And  I  think  used  the  way  they  were  later  on,  with 
maybe  just  one  word,  one  letter,  one  line  or  so  of  a 


129 


Victorian  type  set  against  a  standard  sort  of  Roman- -book 

Roman — made  a  very  nice  contrast.   A  lot  of  people  did  very 

nice  things  with  that,  including  Grant  and  Saul  [Marks]  and 

Ward  [Ritchie].   I  think  Ward  did  a  little  more —  There's 

some. 

ZEIGLER:   Yes. 

GERRY:   What  was  that?   It  was  called  Jim  Crow- -a  sort  of 

shaded  type,  shaded  at  the  top.   These  are  names  I 

invented.   Woodcraft,  like  Fantastic,  but  the  Woodcraft 

looked  like  it  was  made  out  of  logs.   Very  Victorian. 

ZIEGLER:   Could  you  mention  some  books  that  are  examples  of 

that  use  of  a  Victorian  typeface  in  contrast  with  a  regular 

typeface? 

GERRY:   Oh,  I  can't  really.   Grant  did  that  a  lot.   And  I 

think  the  Grabhorns  even  did  it  somewhat.   Ward's 

typography  was  a  little  more--and  only  by  comparison--a 

little  more  contemporary.   He'd  spent  a  lot  of  time  in  the 

advertising  business.   I  don't  want  this  to  sound 

derogatory,  because  I've  sort  of  been  saying  derogatory 

things  about  advertising  typography.   But  I  think  Ward  was 

always  very  contemporary  in  his  typography.   I  mean,  in 

comparison  to  Grant  and  Saul-   Saul  continually  referred  to 

past  classic  examples,  I  think. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  we've  sort  of  covered  it,  but  I  wonder  if 

you--  Are  there  typeface  designers  that  you  especially 


130 


admire? 

GERRY:   Well,  first  we  start  with  the  local  three  that 
influenced  me.   That  was  Ward  and  Grant  and  Saul.   And  I 
pretty  much  follow  all  that  they  set  up--set  down.   I  never 
questioned  them  anyway.   Whether  these  were  particularly 
Californian  or  not,  I  can't  judge.   Some  say  they  are  more 
Calif ornian  than  others,  but  I  don't  know.   Then  I  would  go 
to  some  English  typographers.   Certainly  [Francis]  Meynell 
and  the  Nonesuch  Press.   A  lot  of  the  Curwen  Press  things 
appeal  to  me,  a  lot  of  their  booklets,  and  their  books; 
they  did  a  lot  of  nice  books.   Curwen  and  Meynell  and  the 
Golden  Cockerel  Press.   I  always  admired  the  wood 
engravings,  but  the  typography  was  not  always  something  I 
admired  or  tried  to  follow. 

Other  influences  would  be--  Well,  not  Goudy.   I  didn't 
particularly  like  Goudy 's  work,  although  I  liked  his  type 
Californian.   Cooper  didn't  do  much  for  me,  although  a  very 
interesting,  historic  person- -Oswald  Cooper- -and  the  things 
he  did.   I  think  maybe  Elmer  Adler  might  have,  somehow, 
with  some  of  his  things  he  did  with  the  Colophon .   Peter 
Bielenson  did  things  that  appealed  to  me.   Even  his  little 
books  that  he  used  to  sell  in  the  stores  for  a  dollar 
always  were  very  entertaining  and  very  up- front 
graphically.   You  felt  that  he'd  almost  printed  them  with 
his  own  hands.   You  don't  see  books  like  that  around 


131 


admire? 

GERRY:   Well,  first  we  start  with  the  local  three  that 
Influenced  me.   That  was  Ward  and  Grant  and  Saul.   And  I 
pretty  much  follow  all  that  they  set  up--set  down.   I  never 
questioned  them  anyway.   Whether  these  were  particularly 
Californian  or  not,  I  can't  judge.   Some  say  they  are  more 
Californian  than  others,  but  I  don't  know.   Then  I  would  go 
to  some  English  typographers.   Certainly  [Francis]  Meynell 
and  the  Nonesuch  Press.   A  lot  of  the  Curwen  Press  things 
appeal  to  me,  a  lot  of  their  booklets,  and  their  books; 
they  did  a  lot  of  nice  books.   Curwen  and  Meynell  and  the 
Golden  Cockerel  Press.   I  always  admired  the  wood 
engravings,  but  the  typography  was  not  always  something  I 
admired  or  tried  to  follow. 

Other  influences  would  be--  Well,  not  Goudy.   I  didn't 
particularly  like  Goudy 's  work,  although  I  liked  his  type 
Californian.   Cooper  didn't  do  much  for  me,  although  a  very 
interesting,  historic  person--Oswald  Cooper--and  the  things 
he  did.   I  think  maybe  Elmer  Adler  might  have,  somehow, 
with  some  of  his  things  he  did  with  the  Colophon.   Peter 
Bielenson  did  things  that  appealed  to  me.   Even  his  little 
books  that  he  used  to  sell  in  the  stores  for  a  dollar 
always  were  very  entertaining  and  very  up- front 
graphically.   You  felt  that  he'd  almost  printed  them  with 
his  own  hands.   You  don't  see  books  like  that  around 


131 


anymore,  not  for  a  dollar  anyway,  or  at  all,  for  any 
price.   Some  of  his  better,  more  expensive  books  that 
Bielenson  did  at  the  Peter  Pauper  Press  I  think  were--  I 
liked  them.   So  I  guess  if  you  like  them,  they're  going  to 
influence  you.   You  want  to  imitate  them.   I'm  very 
imitative.   If  I  see  something  I  like  I  try  to  force  it  on 
whatever  particular  job  I'm  doing  at  the  time,  and  that's 
usually  unsuccessful. 

Of  course,  I  like  graphic.   The  involvement  of 
pictorial  matter  with  type,  if  it's  very  graphic,  like 
linoleum  cuts  or  wood  engravings. 

ZIEGLER:   And  which  do  you  think  are  some  of  the  most 
successful  examples  of  that? 

GERRY:   I  can't  say  right  offhand.   I  think  a  lot  of  the 
illustrated  books  that  the  Curwen  Press  did  were  very  good 
along  those  lines.   And  Meynell,  the  Nonesuch  Press.   Gosh, 
his  The  Anatomy  of  Melancholy,  there  are  some  great 
drawings  in  there  that  are  very  well  integrated  with  the 
type.   There  should  be  some  example  I  could  cite,  but  I 
can ' t . 

ZIEGLER:   [inaudible] 

GERRY:   I  didn't  do  my  homework,  you  see.   [laughter] 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  don't  want  to  give  you  that  impression. 
I  mean,  the  amount  that  you  do  know  is  amazing.   Could  you 
talk  a  little  about  choosing  the  paper  when  you  print 


132 


something? 

GERRY:   Paper's  always  been  a  terrible  problem  for  me.   I 
don't  know  why.   But  other  people  seem  to  not  be  able  to 
find--  They  suffer  from  the  same  problem,  not  being  able  to 
find  the  paper  that  they  think  they  want.   Now,  there  was  a 
paper  that  I--  It  was  so  hard  to  get  paper.   The  handmade 
papers  were  so  expensive  and  were  so  few  when  I  first 
started  printing  in  the  sixties  that  I  didn't  pay  any 
attention.   All  I  wanted  was  a  good  commercial  paper.   But 
all  of  the  good  commercial  papers  were  going  to  offset,  and 
they  were  very  hard  to  print  on  by  letterpress.   So  I  was 
continually  going  through  the  catalogs  of  Blake  Moffat  and 
the  commercial  paper  people,  looking  for  the  ideal  paper  to 
print  on  letterpress.   And  I  was  wringing  my  hands  because 
I  could  never  find  it.   But,  lo  and  behold,  I  look  back  on 
some  packages  of  paper  that  I  still  have  from  those  days, 
and  I  think,  "I  had  it.   It  was  right  there  and  I  didn't 
know  it.   Look  at  this  beautiful  paper!"   But  at  the  time  I 
thought,  "It's  only  a  substitute  for  what  I  really  want." 
ZIEGLER:   You  mean  just  because  it's  so  much  better  than 
what's  available  now? 

GERRY:   Partially  that,  but  partially  because  I  couldn't 
see  it  at  the  time.   I  thought,  "It's  just  a  compromise. 
It's  just  a  compromise  for  what  I  really  want." 
ZIEGLER:   You  really  wanted  to  be  printing  on  handmade 


133 


paper? 

GERRY:   No,  not  really.   But  I  wanted  to  be  printing  on  a 

paper  that  would  decently  accept  the  letterpress.   And  here 

I  had  it  all  the  time,  I  just  didn't  know  it.   So  paper  is 

a  tricky  thing.   Then  you  think,  well,  certain  papers  are 

for  certain  things.   If  you  want  to  print  something  that's 

very  fine,  you're  going  to  need  a  smooth  paper,  if  you're 

going  to  not  print  it  damp.   That's  about  the  only 

requirement,  I  would  say.   I  think  you  take  a  paper  because 

you  like  it.   Or  because  you're  tired  of  the  one  you've 

been  using.   I  think  Mohawk  superfine  is  very  good  for 

anything.   It's  a  cheap  commercial  paper,  but  it  works  very 

good  for  letterpress,  and  it  looks  good.   You  can  hardly 

fault  it.   Ragston's  another  one  that's  hard  to  fault. 

They're  getting  a  little  harder  to  print  on,  or  at  least 

the  Ragston's  a  little  harder  printing  on  than  it  once  was 

letterpress. 

ZIEGLER:   Have  you  ever  printed  on  handmade  paper? 

GERRY:   Yes.   I  do  it  more  so  all  the  time  now. 

ZIEGLER:   I  imagine  sometimes  it's  hard,  because  handmade 

paper  is  by  nature  irregular. 

GERRY:   You  usually  do  it  damp--it's  going  to  be  damp.   I 

would  say  I  more  and  more  go  to  the  paper  catalog  of--  I 

won't  say  handmade,  because  very  little  of  the  paper  is 

handmade.   But  the- -what  do  you  want  to  say? --the  less 


134 


commercial  papers  that  are  handled  by  Nelson  Whitehead  and 
the  Paper  Source  and  some  of  the  art  supply  houses  like 
Daniel  Smith.   I'll  go  to  those  papers  because  now  there's 
a  big  selection  and  they're  also  priced  within  reason.   So 
you  can  afford  them.   And  maybe  now,  in  my  later  years,  I 
don't  mind  paying  a  dollar  a  sheet,  whereas  that  would  have 
killed  me  to  have  to  do  that  ten  years  ago  or  fifteen  years 
ago.   But  like  cheap  wines  at  Trader  Joe's  for  $1.99,  I 
seldom  buy  any  other  kind.   [laughter]   So  I  usually  buy-- 
A  dollar  a  sheet  is  about  my  tops,  unless  it's  for 
something  very  special.   And  I  think  printing,  no  matter-- 
Whether  you're  printing  damp  on  handmade  paper,  or  any  kind 
of  paper,  it's  very  hard  for  anybody  to  get  a  good 
impression.   Pat  [Patrick  Reagh]  will  tell  you  that  the 
Heidelberg  cylinder  press  will  get  you  a  good  impression 
every  time.   And  he's  right.   But  the  rest  of  us,  who  don't 
have  Heidelberg  cylinder  presses,  are  going  to  be  fighting 
to  get  a  good  sharp  image  no  matter  what  kind  of  press, 
what  kind  of  ink,  or  what  kind  of  paper  we've  got  to  work 
with. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   I  think  it's  just  part  of  letterpress  printing. 
And  offset  printing  has  the  same  problem,  but  in  a 
different  way. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  of  course,  I  discovered  some  of  that  in  the 


135 


printing  class  last  quarter.   Could  you  describe  the 
process  of  laying  something  out,  working  out  the  layout  for 
a  book  or  broadsheet  or  whatever? 

GERRY:   More  and  more,  what  I  do  is  just  write  out  the 
title  by  hand  with  a  pen,  if  I  want  to,  say,  work  on  the 
title  page.   I  try  to  save  the  title  page  of  the  book  till 
the  last,  because  that's  sort  of  the  dessert.   And  I  think 
the  rest  of  the  book  may  suggest  to  you  a  title  page. 
After  you've  been  through  the  manuscript,  after  you've  been 
through  how  you're  going  to  plan  all  the  other  pages  of  the 
book,  the  information  you've  gathered  will  help  you  with 
the  title  page.   The  title  page  is  your  tour  de  force. 
Title  pages  are  what  we  always  remember.   However,  I  must 
say  that  as  time  goes  on  I'm  less  interested  in  making  the 
title  page  that ' s  going  to  knock  out  the  eyes  of  the  world 
than  I  once  was. 
ZIEGLER:   Why  is  that? 

GERRY:   I  don't  know.   I  guess  because  I  know  I'm  not  going 
to  do  it.   I've  seen  so  many  other  title  pages  that  other 
people  have  done  that  you  realize,  well,  just  do  a  good  one 
and  be  glad  to  get  that. 

ZIEGLER:   Wasn't  it  Beatrice  Warde  who  said  that  the  layout 
and  all  that  shouldn't  call  attention  to  itself  but  call 
attention  to  its  content?   So  you  don't  want  a  title  page 
that  is  just  so  striking  that  that's  all  you  think  about. 


136 


GERRY:   She's  right,  very  right.   Like  Diana  [Thomas]  said 
in  the  printshop,  "It's  hard  to  keep  the  students  from 
using  every  type  we ' ve  got  on  each  page ! "   And  so  I  think 
it's  sort  of  the  same  system.   It  works  in  your  mind  that 
eventually,  yes,  you're  less  interested  in  showing  off  what 
you  can  do  and  more  interested  in  showing--  You're 
interested  in  not  distracting  the  viewer.   This  is  true  of 
the  motion  picture  business.   This  is  true  of  probably  any 
art  or  any  sort  of  show  business.   To  try  to  point  the 
public's  eye  to  what  you  want  them  to  see.   Printing  is  no 
different.   But  like  I  say,  if  I'm  designing  something,  I 
generally  just  sit  down  with  a  pen  or  a  pencil  and  write  it 
out  by  hand.   You  can  see  where  it  can  break,  or  where  it 
might  break,  and  you  try  it  that  way.   As  opposed  to  going 
with  a  layout  pencil,  trying  to  lay  it  out  full-size  with  a 
T  square,  and  so  on,  I  would  just  fiddle  around,  writing  it 
out  with  a  ballpoint  or  a  pencil.   That  will  suggest  things 
to  you,  to  the  layout  person.   That's  about  all  I  can  say 
for  that. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  wonder  if  you  could  talk  more  about 
illustrations  and  how  you  go  about  marrying  illustrations 
to  the  text--deciding  maybe  what  to  illustrate,  what 
technique  is  most  appropriate  for  this  and  so  on. 

GERRY:   Well,  I  would  say  in  my  case,  because  the 
illustration  is  going  to  be  printed  letterpress  and  maybe 


137 


not  necessarily  along  with  the  type--  Because  it  may 
require  a  lot  more  ink  than  the  type,  you  may  have  to  print 
it  separately.   With  drawings  it's  going  to  be  the  same 
process.   So  I'm  limited  to  a  photo  plate,  what  I  can  have 
made  by  photo  engraving.   It  can't  be  a  halftone  plate 
because  I  don't  want  to  print  halftones  and  I  can't  print 
halftones.   So  it's  going  to  be  a  line  drawing,  now.   A 
line  resolution,  shall  we  say.   So  it's  going  to  be  a 
linoleum  cut  or  a  wood  engraving  or  a  photo  engraving.   So 
that's  what  I  am  limited  to.   Those  are  fairly  graphic.   I 
think  I  like  illustrations  which  are  graphic.   What  do  I 
mean  "graphic"?   Two-dimensional  I  guess  would  be 
graphic.   Would  that  be?   Something  that  is  not 
particularly  attempting  to  be  a  three-dimensional  image, 
like  a  lot  of  Italian  perspective. 

ZIEGLER:   Something  that  works  as  more  of  a  design. 
GERRY:   More  of  a  design.   And  I  think  certain  things 
vibrate.   Certain  old  woodcuts  and  wood  engravings  vibrate 
because  of  the  juxtaposition  of  the  little  white  lines 
together.   That  is  sort  of  the  same  way  that  type  does.   When 
you're  not  reading  it  you  just  see  it,  and  it  vibrates 
because  of  the  little  black  and  white  pattern  that  you  see. 
Vibrates  your  eyes  and  it's  sort  of  pleasing.   A  person  might 
try  to  work  something  into  their  illustrations  that  has  a 
little  vibrant  quality  like  the  type  does.   I  don't  really 


138 


have  any  theory  about  what  should  be  illustrated.   We  were 
talking  about  the  [Edward]  Ardizzone  book  that  I  printed 
where  he  tells  about  book  illustrating  [On  the  Illustrating 
of  Books] .   He  has  very  definite  views  of  what  should  and 
should  not  be  illustrated.   I  don't  think  I  have  worked  out  a 
system.   I  just  probably  pick  something  I  like  in  the  story 
that  I  think  should  be  illustrated,  and  I  do  it  by  whim,  not 
by  intellect.   Just  by  what  appeals  to  me. 

ZIEGLER:   I  noticed  that  you  often  would  draw  things  again 
and  again  and  maybe  draw  a  variety  of  different  things  for 
the  same  work,  and  then  you  would  choose  only  some  of  them. 
GERRY:   Years  ago  I  would. 

ZIEGLER:   In  any  case,  it  looked  to  me  like  you  do  it  by 
sort  of  drawing  out  the  possibilities  and  then  choosing 
among  them . 

GERRY:   Yeah,  I  think  you  should  explore  the  possibilities. 
Like  Ward  describes  when  he  started--  It  was  early  typo- 
graphic expressions.   He  would  proof  the  title  page  and 
then  he  would  pin  it  on  the  wall  until  he  had  a  hundred 
versions  of  some  slight  change  on  the  wall.   He  said  it  was 
a  matter  of  not  being  able  to  decide  what  he  really 
wanted.   And  I  think  that's  true  of--  I  do  draw  things  out 
too  much  to  the  point  where  I  miss--  I  look  back  at  some  of 
the  drawings  for  illustrations  and  I  think,  "Why  didn't  I 
use  that?   That's  much  better  than  what  I  finally  did  use." 


139 


ZIEGLER:   I  was  reading  some  about  the  [Walt]  Disney 
Studio,  and  I  sort  of  gathered  that  Disney  works  the  same 
way,  that  people  are  encouraged  to  draw  and  draw  and  draw 
all  sorts  of  different  possibilities  and  many  of  them  never 
get  used  finally.   In  fact,  many  of  maybe  the  best  ones 
never  get  used. 

GERRY:   Well,  yeah,  there's  always  that  feeling. 
ZIEGLER:   Putting  all  the  possibilities  out  on  the  board  to 
choose  from. 

GERRY:   There's  always  that  feeling  that,  well,  maybe  some 
of  the  best  stuff  doesn't  get  used.   Yeah,  I  think  book 
printing  is  very  much  like  movie  making.   Although  I  didn't 
realize  until  later  on  that  there  are  all  these 
possibilities  that  are  available  to  you  and  you  have  to-- 
In  the  motion  picture  business,  as  opposed  to,  say, 
printing  a  few  hundred  copies  of  a  book,  it's  a  lot 
different.   I  mean,  you're  trying  to  appeal  to  a  very  large 
audience,  and  the  larger  the  audience  you  appeal  to,  the 
harder  it  is  to  get  the  material  and  develop  it  so  that  the 
audience  likes  it.   Anybody  can  make  a  picture  that  will 
appeal  to  their  relatives  or  their  buddy  across  the  table 
from  them.   I  mean,  you  can  make  a  motion  picture,  one  that 
will  appeal  to  yourself.   But  to  make  something  that 
appeals  to  a  lot  of  people,  it  takes  a  lot  of--I  hate  to 
say  it--a  lot  of  effort.   You  have  to  try  a  number  of 


140 


different  things,  and  somebody  has  to  pick  from  all  these 
to  try  and  make  them  say,  "Yes,  this  is  what  we  want  to 
use."   And  you  hear  all  these  stories  about  "Well,  we  had 
to  hire  some  more  writers."   "They  had  ten  writers  and  they 
fired  that  writer."   "They  got  this  writer  to  rewrite  this 
writer's  rewriting."   It  sounds  ridiculous  when  somebody 
tells  you  this  is  what  they  do  in  Hollywood,  but  every 
picture  I  have  ever  worked  on,  we  have  done  it  exactly  that 
way.   Nobody  seems  to  know  why. 

ZIEGLER:   I  gather,  though,  that  it's  not  that  the  things 
that  didn't  get  used  were  not  good,  but  maybe  they  didn't 
fit  in  with  the  story.   Maybe  there  was  some  really  great 
scene,  well  drawn  and  very  comical  in  itself,  but  once  it 
was  put  together  it  sort  of  disrupted  the  story  line. 
GERRY:   Right,  that's  usually  what  happens. 
ZIEGLER:   I  would  imagine  that  something  like  that  happens 
in  book  illustrations.   Maybe  you've  done  some  drawings, 
some  great  drawings.   They  just  don't  quite  complement  the 
layout  of  the  page  in  the  way  you  want  it  exactly.   Or 
maybe  they  would  be  too  distracting  on  the  page. 
GERRY:   Exactly.   That's  where  the  similarity  comes  in. 
You  try  to  make  the  book  seem,  you  know,  as  a  whole  thing 
that  kind  of  fits  all  together.   So  a  lot  of  the  ideas  that 
you  get,  typographic  ideas  as  well  as  illustrative  ideas, 
might  stand  very  well  on  their  own,  but  when  it  all  goes 


141 


together  in  one  book  it  might  be  distracting.   All  the 
other  elements  might  fight  together.   You  don't  want  that, 
because  you  want  the  person  to  read  the  book  and  not — 
ZIEGLER:   Can  you  think  of  some  cases  where  you  had  some 
great  illustrations  that  you  were  just  dying  to  use  but  had 
to  give  up  on  them  because  they  didn't  all  work  together 
well  in  the  book? 

GERRY:   No,  unless  it  would  probably  be  every  book,  every 
time  I  tried  to  illustrate  anything.   No.   Sometimes  the 
author  has  a  hand  in  selecting  the  illustrations,  or  the 
publisher,  and  sometimes  that  goes  against  your  grain.   But 
in  the  long  run--  I  mean,  after  all,  they  have  the  right  to 
do  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Could  you  say  a  little  more  about  that? 
GERRY:   Pat  and  I  did  a  book  for  [Ralph]  Sylvester  and 
[Stathis]  Orphanos  that  was  a  Tennessee  Williams  book. 
Tennessee  Williams  had  a  friend  who  had  made  this  woodcut, 
and  he  wanted  to  use  it.   Well,  I  think  they  were  obliged 
to  accommodate  Tennessee  Williams  on  this  matter  because 
they  had  gotten  the  rights  to  do  this  book  from  him.   It 
was  a  book,  but  it  was  this  short  story.   In  the  end  we 
used  the  illustration  that--  I  won't  speak  for  Sylvester 
and  Orphanos,  but  Pat  and  I  didn't  like  it.   We  didn't 
think  it  was  all  that  appropriate  or  good.   So  that  was  an 
incident  where  the  author  had  the  power  to  force  his  ideas 


142 


onto  us.   But  it's  not  a  big  deal. 

ZIEGLER:   You've  done  quite  a  bit  of  job  printing,  and  I 
would  imagine  that  occurs  even  more  with  job  printing  than 
it  does  with  book  printing.   That  the  client  has  his  or  her 
own  ideas  and  that  you  really  have  to  work  around  them, 
whether  you  like  it  best  or  not.   Is  that  true? 
GERRY:   Oh,  especially  in  commercial  printing,  yes.   I 
think  you're  supposed  to  guide  the  client  along  the  right 
path,  and  when  he  gets  too  far  off  you  just  kind  of  bring 
him  back.   I  think  you  don't  have  to  force  your  ideas,  you 
don ' t  have  to  make  him  be  the  best  typographer  in  the 
world.   You  just  have  to  make  him  look  pretty  good-   And  if 
he  wants  to  do  something  terribly  ridiculous,  that's  when 
you  argue.   But  you  can't  argue  every  point  because  you 
personally  feel  you've  got  a  better  idea. 
ZIEGLER:   Are  you  willing  to  talk  about  any  particular 
examples? 

GERRY:   I  haven't  done  that  much  commercial  work,  really. 
I  know  Pat's  experience  with  it  is  you  don't  regard  it  the 
same  way  you  regard  your  bookwork  or  your  bookish 
printing.   It's  like  something  you  do--  It  comes  from  the 
outsider.   It's  brought  in  by  the  outsider,  and  they 
already  have  a  preconceived  idea  of  how  they  want  it.   They 
seldom  come  to  you  as  a  printer  anymore  and  say,  "Do  this 
for  me."   "We  have  this  idea.   Our  artists  did  it,  and  this 


143 


onto  us.   But  it's  not  a  big  deal. 

ZIEGLER:   You've  done  quite  a  bit  of  job  printing,  and  I 
would  imagine  that  occurs  even  more  with  job  printing  than 
it  does  with  book  printing.   That  the  client  has  his  or  her 
own  ideas  and  that  you  really  have  to  work  around  them, 
whether  you  like  it  best  or  not.   Is  that  true? 
GERRY:   Oh,  especially  in  commercial  printing,  yes.   I 
think  you ' re  supposed  to  guide  the  client  along  the  right 
path,  and  when  he  gets  too  far  off  you  just  kind  of  bring 
him  back.   I  think  you  don't  have  to  force  your  ideas,  you 
don ' t  have  to  make  him  be  the  best  typographer  in  the 
world.   You  just  have  to  make  him  look  pretty  good.   And  if 
he  wants  to  do  something  terribly  ridiculous,  that's  when 
you  argue.   But  you  can't  argue  every  point  because  you 
personally  feel  you've  got  a  better  idea. 
ZIEGLER:   Are  you  willing  to  talk  about  any  particular 
examples? 

GERRY:   I  haven't  done  that  much  commercial  work,  really. 
I  know  Pat's  experience  with  it  is  you  don't  regard  it  the 
same  way  you  regard  your  bookwork  or  your  bookish 
printing.   It's  like  something  you  do--  It  comes  from  the 
outsider.   It's  brought  in  by  the  outsider,  and  they 
already  have  a  preconceived  idea  of  how  they  want  it.   They 
seldom  come  to  you  as  a  printer  anymore  and  say,  "Do  this 
for  me."   "We  have  this  idea.   Our  artists  did  it,  and  this 


143 


is  what  we  want."   As  far  as  commercial  printing  goes,  the 
printers  themselves  may  encourage  that.   I  know  the  Castle 
Press,  George  Kinney,  says  that  they  do  more--  They  welcome 
camera-ready  copy.   They  welcome  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  it  certainly  cuts  down  on  their  work  a 
lot.   I  wanted  to  ask  you  what  illustrators  you 
particularly  admire.   You  mentioned  Ardizzone.   Are  there 
some  others? 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah,  Ardizzone.   Of  course,  in  the  area  of 
wood  engravers,  I  like  [Eric]  Ravilious.   Ravilious,  Eric 
Ravilious.   He's  been  dead  a  long  time,  but  I  especially 
admire  him.   And  a  number  of  those  illustrators  that  worked 
for  the  Golden  Cockerel  Press.   I  can't  remember  all  their 
names  offhand.   Edward  Bawden,  an  English  illustrator,  who 
doesn't  do  wood  engravings.   I  admire  his  work  very  much. 
He  did  a  tremendous  amount  of  illustrating  over  the  years, 
and  then  largely  bookwork.   I  don't  know.   I  have  an  awful 
lot  of  artists  that  I  like  and  admire.   Somehow  I  can't 
remember  them  now. 

In  the  painting--  Of  the  California  watercolorists,  I 
like  Rex  Brandt  and  that  school  that's  almost  gone  now. 
Milfred  Zornes  on  the  very  wall  out  here,  I  like  those,  the 
California  school  of  watercolor  painting.   Illustrators, 
illustrators.   Yeah,  there's  a  lot  of  them.   American 
illustrators  I  like  a  lot.   Damned  if  I  can  remember  them. 


144 


is  what  we  want."   As  far  as  commercial  printing  goes,  the 
printers  themselves  may  encourage  that.   I  know  the  Castle 
Press,  George  Kinney,  says  that  they  do  more--  They  welcome 
camera-ready  copy.   They  welcome  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  it  certainly  cuts  down  on  their  work  a 
lot.   I  wanted  to  ask  you  what  illustrators  you 
particularly  admire.   You  mentioned  Ardizzone.   Are  there 
some  others? 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah,  Ardizzone.   Of  course,  in  the  area  of 
wood  engravers,  I  like  [Eric]  Ravilious.   Ravilious,  Eric 
Ravilious.   He's  been  dead  a  long  time,  but  I  especially 
admire  him.   And  a  number  of  those  illustrators  that  worked 
for  the  Golden  Cockerel  Press.   I  can't  remember  all  their 
names  offhand.   Edward  Bawden,  an  English  illustrator,  who 
doesn't  do  wood  engravings.   I  admire  his  work  very  much. 
He  did  a  tremendous  amount  of  illustrating  over  the  years, 
and  then  largely  bookwork.   I  don't  know.   I  have  an  awful 
lot  of  artists  that  I  like  and  admire.   Somehow  I  can't 
remember  them  now. 

In  the  painting--  Of  the  California  watercolorists,  I 
like  Rex  Brandt  and  that  school  that's  almost  gone  now. 
Milfred  Zornes  on  the  very  wall  out  here,  I  like  those,  the 
California  school  of  watercolor  painting.   Illustrators, 
illustrators.   Yeah,  there's  a  lot  of  them.   American 
illustrators  I  like  a  lot.   Damned  if  I  can  remember  them. 


144 


is  what  we  want."   As  far  as  conunercial  printing  goes,  the 
printers  themselves  may  encourage  that.   I  know  the  Castle 
Press,  George  Kinney,  says  that  they  do  more--  They  welcome 
camera-ready  copy.   They  welcome  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  it  certainly  cuts  down  on  their  work  a 
lot.   I  wanted  to  ask  you  what  illustrators  you 
particularly  admire.   You  mentioned  Ardizzone.   Are  there 

some  others? 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah,  Ardizzone.   Of  course,  in  the  area  of 
wood  engravers,  I  like  [Eric]  Ravilious.   Ravilious,  Eric 
Ravilious.   He's  been  dead  a  long  time,  but  I  especially 
admire  him.   And  a  number  of  those  illustrators  that  worked 
for  the  Golden  Cockerel  Press.   I  can't  remember  all  their 
names  offhand.   Edward  Bawden,  an  English  illustrator,  who 
doesn't  do  wood  engravings.   I  admire  his  work  very  much. 
He  did  a  tremendous  amount  of  illustrating  over  the  years, 
and  then  largely  bookwork.   I  don't  know.   I  have  an  awful 
lot  of  artists  that  I  like  and  admire.   Somehow  I  can't 

remember  them  now. 

In  the  painting—  Of  the  California  watercolorists,  I 
like  Rex  Brandt  and  that  school  that's  almost  gone  now. 
Milfred  Zornes  on  the  very  wall  out  here,  I  like  those,  the 
California  school  of  watercolor  painting.   Illustrators, 
illustrators.   Yeah,  there's  a  lot  of  them.   American 
illustrators  I  like  a  lot.   Damned  if  I  can  remember  them. 


144 


though!   I  should  go  home  and  write  all  these  things  down 
and  come  back  prepared. 

ZIEGLER:   I  don't  know  if  we'll  have  another  session  after 
today,  although  it  seems  like  we  have  enough  material  to 
keep  talking.   Maybe  if  we  have  another  session,  if  you  can 
think  of  some,  you  can  mention  them  next  time.   Could  you 
talk  a  little  about  choosing  the  binding  for  a  book  and 
deciding  how  to  bind  it?   What  kind  of  cover,  what  cover 
paper  design? 

GERRY:   Well,  a  lot  of  times  it's  going  to  be  "What  does 
the  customer  want  to  pay?"   In  my  own  case,  it's  "How  lazy 
am  I?   How  much  labor  do  I  want  to  put  into  it  if  I'm  going 
to  bind  it  myself?"   If  you  have  a  cloth  spine  and  paper- 
covered  boards  and  a  round  back,  there's  a  lot  of  labor 
involved.   More  so  than  a  square  back,  which  is  full 
cloth.   So  you  say,  "Well,  how  much  labor  do  I  want  to 
do?"   That  is  largely  the  deciding  factor.   And  then  one 
example  I  can  point  out,  and  others  are  fairly  arbitrary 
decisions  about  binding.   "Oh,  look,  here's  a  nice  paper. 
Let's  use  that.   I'll  make  a  nice  paste  paper."   Maybe  I'm 
in  a  paste  paper  mood.   That  will  probably  determine  what  I 
was  going  to  use  as  a  binding.   If  there  was  something  else 
I  was  fond  of  at  the  time-- 

ZIEGLER:   I  don't  know  quite  what  you  mean  by  paste  paper. 
GERRY:   Well,  you  take  some  color,  like  some  watercolors 


145 


and  some  acrylics,  and  you  mix  it  with  paste.   It  gives  it 
a  thickness,  and  you  can  brush  it  on  and  it  stays  wet.   And 
you  can  scrape  designs  in  it  with  a  comb  or  just  the  brush 

itself. 

ZEIGLER:   Oh,  yeah,  I've  seen  examples  of  that. 
GERRY:   It's  a  fairly  fast  way  of  making  individual 
papers.   Or  you  might  want  to  print  a  printed  pattern 
paper,  like  the  little  Christmas  book.   Then  you  say,  "Am  I 
going  to  spend  that  much?   How  much  labor  do  I  want  to 
do?"   Or  "Is  the  customer  going  to  pay  for  that?"   Then  you 
go  to  a  round  back  or  a  straight  back.   And  binders  will 
say,  "I'll  do  it  for  the  same  price.   I'll  do  your  round 
back  just  as  easy  as  a  square  back."   But  it  isn't  true — a 
round  back  usually  costs  more.   And  the  thinner  a  book,  the 
harder  it  is  to  make  it  round. 

One  book  I'll  say,  the  book  I  did  of  Wilfred  Owen's, 
War  Poems,  illustrated  by  Dale  Barnhart.   I  carefully 
selected  a  cloth  which  seemed  to  me  the  kind  of  military 
color  of  a  soldier's  outfit--an  olive  drab.   The  bindery 
happened  to  have  this  particular  cloth  on  hand.   It  looked 
kind  of  like  the  color,  an  olive  drab  color,  of  a  World  War 
I  outfit.   Then  I  used  a  plastic  spine  which  was  imitation 
leather.   But,  please,  it  doesn't  look  as  bad  as  it 
sounds.   It  looks  very  good, 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I  saw  the  book. 


146 


GERRY:   That  was  supposed  to  be  the  leather  of  the 
soldier's  belt  or  the  officer's  belt,  and  then  that 
combination  of  the  cloth  and  the  leather  was  reflecting  the 
soldier's  uniform.   Then  I  gold-stamped  the  spine.   You 
could  say,  "Well,  that's  the  officer's  brass  insignia." 
Then  I  stamped  in  a  darker  brown,  which  could  be  the  mud  of 
Flanders,  the  picture  on  the  cover,  which  I  think  was  a 
soldier's  face,  as  I  recall.   That  was  all  done  to  reflect 
what  was  inside  the  book.   Other  times  I  haven't  been  that-- 

Well  let's  see,  the  book  on  Miniatures  on  Modern 
Artists;  [Some  Notes] —  Well,  let's  see,  that  was  a  different 
paper.   That  was  a  compromise  paper  I  had  to  use  later. 
Because  I  ran  out  of  the  stuff  I'd  actually  printed.   But  I 
tried  to  make  something  that  looked  modern.   It  had  an  Art 
Deco  look  to  it.   It  was  done  with  typographical  ornaments 
for  the  miniatures  on  modern  artists,  but  not  always  do  I 
really  try  to  make  a  big  deal  out  of  reflecting  what's  inside 
the  book  in  what's  on  the  binding. 

ZIEGLER:   You  have  done  some  very  successful  examples  of 
doing  that,  though.   Spring  Barley,  Castle  and  Peacocks  on 
the  Castle  Press. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  yeah,  that's  right.   That  was  an  Italian 
paper  that  I  had  adapted  to  look  like  the  Castle  Press,  and 
I  put  the  castle  in  there.   John  Randle  of  Matrix  magazine 
liked  that  paper,  and  he  wanted  me  to  do  a  paper  for  Matrix 


147 


magazine,  a  cover  paper.   So  I  kept  sending  him  designs. 
He  says,  "No,  no.   It's  more  like  that  other  one  that  you 
did  for  the  Dahlstrom  book."   And  finally  he  said,  "No, 
just  like  the  one  you  did  for  the  Dahlstrom  book!"   So 
that's  what  he  finally  used. 

ZIEGLER:   Did  you  have  any  of  the  paper  left? 
GERRY:   No,  he  was  going  to  have  to  print  it.   After  all 
those--  That's  the  one  he  really  wanted  all  along. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  you  mentioned  that  you  do  do  a  lot  of 
binding  yourself,  but  then  you've  also  mentioned  that  you 
have  other  people  bind  your  things  sometimes.   Bela  Blau  is 
one  person  who  I  saw  mentioned  frequently. 

GERRY:   I  like  Bela  to  do  my  books  or  my  customers'  books, 
mainly  because  I  have  a  working  relation  with  him.   I  mean, 
I  know  him  and  I  can  talk  to  him  and  we're  friends.   But 
the  most  important  thing  about  Bela  is  I  know  that  he  will 
watch--  Whether  he  does  it  himself  or  not,  he  will  watch  my 
book  all  the  way  through  the  plant.   I  don't  know  any  other 
binders  who  I  can  count  on  to  do  that .   I  did  have  a  book 
done  by  Earl  Grey.   Now,  see,  Lillian  Marks  always  used 
Earl  Grey.   They  had  a  rapport.   I  didn't  particularly  like 
what  Earl  Grey  had  done  for  me. 
ZIEGLER:   Which  one  did  he  do? 

GERRY:   He  made  the  boxes,  [which]  were  not  very  well  made, 
I  don't  think,  for  a  medieval  book  on  medieval  cookery.   A^ 


148 


Treatise  on  the  Art  and  Antiquity  of  Cookery  in  the  Middle 
Ages.   But,  see,  it's  probably  80  percent  that  I  know  Bela 
will  watch  my  book  all  the  way  through.   He  won't  just  say, 
"Here,  go  do  it"  to  somebody.   He'll  be  doing  it  himself. 
Then  it ' s  another  20  percent  that  I  know  him  and  I  can  talk 
to  him.   We  have  a  common  language.   Even  though  he  speaks 
with  a  very  heavy  Hungarian  accent,  we  have  a  common 
language.   [laughter] 


149 


TAPE  NUMBER:   IV,  SIDE  TWO 
MAY  4,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   I  wonder  if  you  could  just  repeat  a  little  of 
what  you  were  saying  about  why  you  liked  to  work  with  Bela 
Blau,  because  we  may  have  missed  it  at  the  end  of  the  tape. 
GERRY:   Oh,  okay.   I  like  Bela  as  a  binder  for  my  own  books 
as  well  as  customers'  books  because  I  can  work  with  him.   I 
can  understand  him.   We  talk  together,  we're  friends.   But 
most  important  of  all  with  Bela  Blau  and  A-1  Bookbinders  is 
Bela  will  watch  the  job.   If  he's  not  working  on  it 
himself,  he  keeps  an  eye  on  it  all  the  way  through  the 
shop,  because  he  runs  a  fairly  small  operation.   There's 
nothing  that  goes  by  him  that  he  doesn ' t  see  or  keep  a  hand 
on  or  do  himself.   The  other  binders  are  large  and  fast. 
They  get  the  job,  and  the  man  you  talk  to  about  the  job  is 
not  the  man  that's  going  to  work  on  it.   It's  going  to  go 
through  a  plant,  done  by  people  who  more  or  less  don't 
care,  and  it's  going  to  look  that  way.   It's  perfectly  all 
right  for  certain  things.   But  if  you're  picky  and  you 
don't  want  to  be  embarrassed  when  your  client  says,  "Look, 
the  book  is  all  stuck  together--"  "They  won't  open."   "The 
glue  is  squirting  out."   The  this,  the  that.   "They're 
upside  down."   Whatever.   You  want  to  avoid  that 
embarrassment,  I  always  go  to  have  Bela  do  it.   If  you  can 
afford  it.   He's  more  expensive,  naturally,  but  not 

150 


terribly. 

ZIEGLER:   How  big  a  business  does  he  do?   Does  he  do  mostly 
small  press  books,  or  does  he  do  real  large  printing? 
GERRY:   Bela  does  every  kind  of  binding.   He  does 
commercial  hardware  catalogs,  portfolios.   Anything  he'll 
do.   He  does  a  lot  of  miniature  books.   He's  a  specialist 
in  miniature  books. 

ZIEGLER:   They  must  be  harder  to  bind  as  well  as  to  print, 
aren ' t  they? 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah.   You  have  to  have  the  right  temperament 
to  bind  miniature  books.   He  does.   That's  one  of  his  main 
specialties.   But  I'm  sure  that's  not  what  he  makes  his 
living  on.   He  makes  his  living  on  doing  catalog  covers. 
You  know,  gold-stamping  material  and  embossing  and  heavy- 
duty  catalogs.   Any  kind  of  commercial  binding  he  does. 
But  he  also  does  good  bookbinding. 
ZIEGLER:   Do  you  ever  use  Kater  Craft  binders? 
GERRY:   I  have  in  the  past.   I  know  Mel  [Kavin] .   But,  now, 
there's  an  example.   For  all  of  Mel's  caring  about  it  and 
all  of  his  knowledge  of  binding,  when  it  goes  to  Mel's  it's 
a  big  plant.   It's  got  forty  people,  sixty  people  in 
there.   He  cannot  possibly  watch  everything.   They  do 
excellent  library  binders,  and  their  fine  book  department 
is  really  special.   But  I  think  it's  too  expensive  for  me 
to  go  to  the  fine  book  department. 


151 


ZIEGLER:   The  Clark  [Library]  uses  them  a  lot. 

GERRY:   They  do  a  lot  of  restoration  work.   Excellent, 

excellent.   There  are  certain  things  I  would  be  glad  to 

send  to  Mel  and  Kater  Crafts. 

ZIEGLER:   What's  Mel's  full  name? 

GERRY :   Mel  Kavin .   I  don ' t  know  whether  he ' s  a  Melvin  or 

what.   I  never  found  that  out.   I  always  knew  him  as  Mel. 

And  Mel  is  a  real  friend  of  the  printing  business.   Mel  is 

very  interested  in  the  subject  and  very  active  and  has  a 

marvelous  little  library  in  history  down  at  the  plant--I 

think  they  take  students  through  there  sometimes- -the 

history  of  binding  and  printing. 

ZIEGLER:   Where  is  his  plant  located? 

GERRY:   Pico  Rivera,  just  north  of  Whittier  Boulevard,  I 

believe. 

ZIEGLER:   I  wonder  if  we  could  talk  a  little  more  about 

commercial  printing.   You  have  done  a  fair  amount,  judging 

from  the  things  I  saw  at  the  Clark.   Well,  I  don't  quite 

know  by  what  measure  you  would  say  what  is  a  fair  amount, 

but  I  noticed  you  have  done  quite  a  few  jobs.   Some  of  the 

things  I  saw  were  Christmas  cards  and  stationery,  catalogs, 

gallery  announcements,  wine  and  food  labels, 

advertisements,  campaign  literature  for  David  Hitchcock. 

Are  there  others? 

GERRY:   No,  that  sounds  about  it.   A  lot  of  it  was  done  for 


152 


friends.   Or  people  would  say,  "Oh,  you're  a  printer!   I 
want  you  to  do  a  letterhead  for  me."   Well,  usually  when  I 
did  most  of  those  things,  it  was  because  I  was  trying  to 
make  the  shop  pay  for  itself,  so  I  wouldn't  turn  down 
anything.   But  nowadays  I  don't  worry  about  that,  and  if 
people  want  letterheads  done,  they  really  have  to  twist  my 
arm  or  catch  me  off  guard.   In  fact,  I  can't  do  them 
because  I  don't  even  have  a  press  to  do  them  on  anymore. 
ZIEGLER:   It  looked  to  me  like  you  did  a  fair  amount  of 
commercial  printing  for  people  at  the  Disney  Studios. 
GERRY:   Yes,  there  was  one  customer  I  had  who  was  very 
helpful  in  helping  to  support  the  press.   He  would  do  a  lot 
of  joking.   He  was  a  writer,  a  screenwriter,  and  he  was 
constantly  playing  practical  jokes  on  his  friends. 
ZIEGLER:   Who  was  that? 

GERRY:   His  name  was  Larry  Clemmons.   He  wrote  a  lot  of 
cartoons,  and  he  used  to  begin--  He  had  worked  at  the 
studio  in  the  early  thirties,  and  then  he  left  the  studio 
and  came  back  in  the  fifties  I  think.   He  was  primarily 
writing  Walt  [Disney] 's  introductions  to  the  television 
shows,  and  then  he  got  into  the  cartoon  department  and  was 
our  chief  writer  for  years.   So  he  was  always  coming  to  me 
because  he  wanted  to  play  this  joke  on  somebody.   They  were 
usually  very  inside  jokes  that  required  a  special 
letterhead,  and  he  would  write  up  this  letter  and  then  mail 


153 


it  to  this  particular  person.   In  one  instance,  we  actually 
faked  a  column  in  the  Hollywood  Reporter.   I  printed  it  on 
a  piece  of  coated  paper,  and  we  tore  it  and  we  imitated 
their  style  of  printing  just  as  much  as  I  could  and 
everything  just  as  much  as  we  could.   We  did  a  lot  of 
that.   Larry  did  a  lot  of  that  stuff.   Sometimes  I'd  make 
linoleum  cuts  for  the  letterheads.   He  got  a  great  deal  of 
enjoyment  out  of  that,  and  he  always  paid  me  to  do  it.   I 
mean,  I  can't  think  that  it  was  that  much  money,  but  we  did 
a  lot  of  that  sort  of  thing.   I  can't  remember  any 
particular  one.   There  was  one  from  the  Lompoc  Jail.   The 
letterhead  said  Lompoc  Jail,  so-and-so  street.   And  it  had 
some  device  on  there  that  was  like  a  jail. 
ZIEGLER:   That  must  have  been  a  bit  of  a  shock  for  the 
person  who  got  it.   These  elaborate  practical  jokes 
happened  every  so  often  around  the  Disney  Studios,  didn't 
they?   I  read  somewhere- - 

GERRY:   Yeah,  I  think  they  did.   I  think  all  the  studios — 
Everybody  jokes  around  wherever  they  work,  I  think.   But 
these  were  somewhat  more  elaborate.   Maybe  because  the 
group  of  guys  he  was  with  were  always  doing  that,  making 
jokes  about  whatever  picture  they  were  working  on  or 
whatever  pictures  they  were  rumored  to  be  working  on. 
Whatever  would  come  up  to  suggest  a  joke. 

I  really  didn't  do  too  much--  I  was  intrigued  with 


154 


designing  commercial  printing  for  quite  a  while.   When  I 
was  in  art  school,  I  think  I  did  some.   In  advertising- 
design  classes,  I  did  some  typography  for  commercial 
work.   Until  I  got  interested  in  books,  that's  about  all  I 
was  interested  in,  an  advertising  sort  of  typography. 
ZIEGLER:   And  what  would  you  say  the  main  considerations 
are  for  commercial  printing?   I  would  guess  that  they're 
different  from  the  considerations  for  books. 
GERRY:   Well,  probably  the  tyranny  of  the  times,  of  the 
fashion,  is  probably  what  leads  you  in  that  kind  of 
printing.   Everybody  is  following  the  lead  guy,  whoever 
everybody  admires,  because  that  is  what  the  customers 
want.   So  I  think  that  would  probably  be  the  foremost,  and 
then  I  think  you  probably  want  to  have--  Whereas  in  the 
case  of  the  book  you  are  trying  not  to  divert  the  person 
away,  not  trying  to  catch  the  person's  eye  with  the 
typography,  you  are  trying  to  in  advertising.   You  are 
trying  to  compete  with  everybody  else  around  there.   You 
want  something  that's  going  to  catch  the  person's  eye.   I 
think  they're  all  designed  to  reach  the  audience  they're 
looking  for.   Mail-order  ads  don't  look  that  way  because 
the  designer  didn't  know  any  better;  they  look  that  way 
because  that ' s  what  the  people  they ' re  trying  to  reach 
expect  a  mail-order  ad  to  look  like.   I  learned  that  in 
advertising  school.   [laughter]   Advertising  art. 


155 


TAPE  NUMBER:   V,  SIDE  ONE 
MAY  18,  1989 

ZEIGLER:   Our  last  interview  we  talked  some  about  different 
book  designers  and  illustrators  that  you  particularly 
admired,  but  you  were  going  to  think  of  some  more  and  we 
were  going  to  talk  some  more  about  that  this  time. 
GERRY:   Okay.   I  think  the  ones  I  admire  the  most  are  the 
ones  that  probably  everyone  else  does.   We  may  have  already 
mentioned  them,  but  certainly  [William  A.]  Dwiggins  and 
Bruce  Rogers  and  [Peter]  Bielenson  of  the  Peter  Pauper 
Press  are  who  I  admire.   And  I  have  probably  stolen  from 
them  as  much  as  anybody  else.   Of  course  there  is  Oliver 
Simon  of  the  Curwen  Press.   I  very  much  admire  the  work 
that  the  Curwen  Press  did,  as  well  as  some  other  English 
presses.   But  mostly  the  Curwen  Press.   Then  also  another 
one  would  be  the  Nonesuch  Press,  with  Francis  Meynell  as 
the  designer,   I'm  not  saying  they've  really--  They've 
influenced  me  indirectly. 

ZEIGLER:   You've  learned  from  them,  yeah. 
GERRY:   They've  given  me  good  examples.   Then  I  think  I 
should  probably  also  mention  Stanley  Morison,  who  initiated 
the  types  that  we  like  the  best,  that  have  stood  up  the 
longest  in  the  twentieth  century,  that  he  had  made  for  the 
Monotype  [Corporation]  in  England.   Those  are  types  we  all 
know  and  admire  the  most.   So  I  think  I  should  give  him  a 

156 


line  of  credit  as  someone  establishing  something  to  look  up 
to. 

ZEIGLER:  Could  you  say  a  little  more  about  the  style  that 
you  especially  admire  at  the  Curwen  Press  and  the  Nonesuch 
Press? 

GERRY:   I  guess  you'd  have  to  say  it  was  twentieth-century 
style,  probably,  with  a  little  modern  art  influence  in 
it.   The  combination  of  type  and  decoration,  or  type  and 
pictorial  matter,  appeals  to  me.   And  Curwen  did  a  lot  of 
that.   I  think  those  are  the  most  influential.   Now,  I 
didn't  mention--but,  of  course,  I  have  mentioned  also 
before--the  local  people.   They  probably  directly 
influenced  my  work  more  because  we  work  with  the  same  kind 
of  materials.   They  would  be  Ward  Ritchie  and  Grant 
Dahlstrom  and  even  Saul  Marks  to  a  good  extent--although  I 
always  felt  that  Saul  Marks  was  a  little  bit  beyond 
reach.   But  Ward  and  Grant  had--  They  were  more  like  real 
printers.   There  was  something  there  that  was  tangible  that 
I  might  achieve.   I  might  do  something  like  they  did, 
although  I  never  did,  but  at  least  I  thought  I  could.   The 
use  of  the  Linotype  machine  and  the  small  caps  and  the 
italic  in  roman  and  one  single  face.   It  was  what  these 
three  men  did.   I  mean,  not  that  other  people  didn't  do  it 
also,  but  that  was  the  book-oriented  influence  they  had  on 
California  printers.  Southern  California  printers.   I  think 


157 


I  should  mention  those. 

ZEIGLER:   Why  do  you  describe  Saul  Marks  as  beyond  reach? 
What  do  you  mean  by  that? 

GERRY:   He  was  just  so  good,  such  a  great  printer,  such  a 
perfect  printer,  that  I  would  tend  to  back  off  and  say, 
"Gee,  that's  nice,  but  I  would  never  be  able  to  do  anything 
like  that."   It's  perfect  presswork,  much  better  presswork 
than  the  other  two  fellows,  Ritchie  and  Dahlstrom.   But,  of 
course,  Saul  did  everything  himself.   Whereas  Ritchie  and 
Dahlstrom  had  employees  to  do  the  work,  and  they  turned  out 
a  larger  volume  of  work  than  Saul  ever  did.   Saul's  work 
was  practically  hand  printed.   He  also  took  advantage  of 
using  the  Monotype  machine  to  set  the  type,  which  gave  him 
the  faces  and  a  much  better--  The  machine  had  much  less 
limitations  than  the  Linotype  machine.   It  took  a  lot  more 
work,  but  he  was  willing  to  do  that  to  get  the  better 
looking  printing.   And  he  had  access,  of  course,  to  the 
faces.   I  mention  that  Morison  had  supervised  the 
designing.   That  would  be  Bembo,  Arrighi,  Poliphilus.   I 
guess  Times  roman.   I'm  sure  I'm  leaving  out  some. 
Fournier.   All  Monotype  faces.   I'm  sure  I've  left  some 
out.   I  guess  I've  explained  why. 

ZEIGLER:   How  well  did  you  know  Saul  Marks?   Did  you  even 
work  with  him? 
GERRY:   I  didn't  know  Saul  Marks.   I  don't  think  he  would 


158 


ever  remember  my  name.   I  talked  to  him.   He  was  a  member 

of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   I  did  talk  to  him  a  couple 

of  times.   I  went  to  his  shop  once  to  get  some  advice  on  a 

printing  press.   And  like  I  said  before,  he  once  defended 

one  of  my  books  at  the  Western  Books  Exhibition. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  you  mentioned  that,  that  he  convinced  them 

that  it  was  a  book. 

GERRY:   But  I  didn't  know  him.   He  died  in  '74,  about  the 

time  I  was  just  getting  started. 

ZEIGLER:   You've  had  more  contact  with  Lillian  Marks, 

though,  haven't  you?   I  think  you  mentioned  that. 

GERRY:   No,  not  really  so  much.   She  went  out  of  business 

about  the  time  Pat  [Patrick  Reagh]  and  I  started.   We 

bought  her  press,  the  Heidelberg  cylinder  press,  and  then 

she  stayed  in  business  for  a  while  doing  small-order 

things.   I  think  she  wanted  to  retire.   Eventually,  she 

sold  off  her  shop. 

ZEIGLER:   Could  you  say  a  little  more  about  your  contact 

with  Ward  Ritchie?   Have  you  ever  done  any  joint  projects 

with  him? 

GERRY:   No,  I  never  really  worked  with  Ward.   He  was  a  guy 

I  had  never  met .   I  had  sent  out  a  brochure  for  a  book  I ' d 

done.  The  [Ernest  A.]  Lindner  Collection  of  Antique 

[Printing]  Machinery.   Ward  was  on  one  of  the  mailing 

lists.   And,  lo  and  behold,  one  day  this  man  comes  up  the 


159 


driveway  of  my  house.   I  was  just  about  to  go  off  on  a 
bicycle  ride.   This  man  came  up  the  driveway  and  he  said, 
"I'm  Ward  Ritchie."   I'd  never  met  him;  I'd  always  heard 
about  him.   I  was  really  astounded,  so  I  took  him  in  and 
showed  him  my  shop.   He  was  going  to  buy  the  book  and  he 
didn't  have  any  change,  so  I  said,  "Well,  just  take  it  and 
pay  me  some  other  time."   He  said,  "I'll  send  you  some 
books."   So  he  sent  me  a  book  that  he  did  called  Influences 
on  California  Printing,  or  something  like  that,  that  he 
printed.   It  was  a  couple  of--  One  of  the  papers  that  he 
read  and  then  one  that  James  D.  Hart  read.   And  in  it  he 
had  the  bibliography  of  the  Primavera  Press,  which  was  a 
press  that  Jake  [Zeitlin]  had  started.   They'd  had  a  little 
partnership. 

ZEIGLER:   Who  was  Jake's  printer?   Who  was  the  printer  for 
the  Primavera  Press?   Did  he  print  himself  at  all? 
GERRY:   No.   Jake  never  printed.   I  don't  think  Jake  was  at 
all  handy  with  his  hands.   He  was  a  poet  and  a  book 
salesman,  I  mean  a  bookseller.   I  don't  think  he  was  much 
on  handiwork.   As  far  as  the  Primavera  Press  goes,  I  think 
Ward  printed  some  of  them  but  not  all  of  them.   They  were, 
as  I  understand  it,  always  looking  for  a  cheaper  printer. 
They  even  got  the  Business  Printers  in  Pasadena,  which 
later  was  the  home  office  of  the  San  Pasqual  Press,  to  do 
some  work  for  Primavera.   Two  or  three  books  they  did. 


160 


China  Boy  was  one.   But  I  think  Ward  was  likely  to  be  in 
charge  of  the  design  of  the  books  for  Primavera.   Besides 
the  Primavera  Press,  which  finally  went  under  around  1939, 
Jake  published  a  lot  of  books,  and  he  used  the  local 
printers.   He  was  very  good  to  printers,  and  when  Pat  and  I 
started  in  ' 80  or  '81,  he  had  a  large  book  for  us  to  do. 
Letters  of  Saint  Jerome,  which  was  a  leaf  book.   He  spent  a 
lot  of  money  on  that,  and  he  had  a  lot  of  trouble  with 
that,  too,  in  that  he  had  Max  Adjarian  bind  it  and  they  had 
some  kind  of  terrible  fight  over  the  quality  of  the 
binding. 

ZEIGLER:   Who  were  the  binders? 

GERRY:   Max  Adjarian.   He  lives  up  in  middle  California 
somewhere.   Then  after  the  book  was  all  set  and  corrected, 
we  found  it  had  never  been  edited,  so  it  had  to  go  through 
and  be  edited.   There  were  a  lot  of  problems,  for  Jake  as 
well  as  for  everyone  else,  but  he  was  the  one  who  had  to 
pay  for  them.   He  was  good  to  everybody.   Grant  printed 
books  for  him.  Ward  printed  books  for  him,  and  of  course 
Saul  printed  books  for  him,  as  well  as  others. 
ZEIGLER:   For  the  tape,  let's  say  what  a  leaf  book  is.   I 
think  I  understand.   It's  a  leaf  from  an  old  book,  and  then 
a  commentary  has  been  written  on  it  and  it  gets  like  a 
folder  containing  that  leaf  plus  the  commentary.   Is  that 
right? 


161 


GERRY:   Yes,  that's  right.   This  particular  book  had  three 
essays  on  the  letters  of  Saint  Jerome.   And  the  printed 
sheet  that  was  included--  I  remember  going  to  Jake's  when 
they  tore  this  book  apart  that  was  printed  in  1468,  I 
believe,  very  soon  after  the  beginnings  of  printing.   He 
was  pulling  the  book  apart  to  get  the  leaves  out  of  it.   It 
was  not  often--  Probably  never  in  my  life  will  I  ever  sit 
down  again  with  someone  and  pull  apart  a  fifteenth-century 
book. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   Was  it  an  incomplete  copy? 
GERRY:   Yes. 

ZEIGLER:   That's  sort  of  understandable,  then,  if  you  don't 
have  a  complete  copy. 

GERRY:   Right,  right.   I  don't  mean  tearing,  ripping.   I 
just  mean  pulling  it  apart  carefully.   And  Jake  said,  "Go 
through  here  and  pick  out  the  leaf  you  would  like  to 
have."   I  picked  out  one  that  had  three  hand- lettered 
initials  on  it,  which  I  thought  was  very  generous  of  him. 
ZEIGLER:   Yes.   So  you  got  an  original  leaf  from  this.   So 
in  a  leaf  book,  each  copy  of  the  book  has  a  different  leaf. 
GERRY:   Yes,  each  has  one  leaf  from  the  book,  one  page  from 
the  book.   It's  a  common  way  of  passing  on--  People  can  get 
a  taste  of  a  famous  book,  or  an  old  book  from  the 
incunabula,  without  having  to  afford  the  full  book.   I 
think,  for  instance,  the  Gutenberg  Bible,  they're  selling 


162 


it  by  the  word. 

ZEIGLER:   [laughter]   Not  by  the  letter  yet? 
GERRY:   [laughter]   No,  but  possibly  that's  the  next  thing. 
ZEIGLER:   I  think  it  was  last  interview  you  were  talking 
about  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club  and  the  old  days,  and  you 
spoke  of  "the  big  three."   I  wondered  who  you  meant  by 
that? 

GERRY:   I  guess  I  mean  now  Ward  Ritchie  and  Saul  Marks  and 
Grant  Dahlstrom.   And  of  course  Jake  Zeitlin  was  someone, 
so  it  should  be  "the  big  four"  I  guess.   But  then  Larry 
[Lawrence  Clark]  Powell  had  something  to  do  with  it.   He 
was  one  of  the  earlier  members,  and  so  was  Paul  Landacre. 
I  wasn't  in  on  that.   That  was  long  before  I  started.   I 
didn't  get  into  the  club  until  the  seventies,  I  think. 
ZEIGLER:   Well,  maybe  we  can  talk  a  little  more  about  the 
Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   What  has  it  been  doing  in  the  time 
that  you've  been  a  member? 

GERRY:   We  used  to  do  more.   We  used  to  have  more  meetings 
and  get-togethers,  and  people  would  give  a  little  talk  or 
we'd  have  a  dinner.   But  mostly  what  the  Rounce  and  Coffin 
Club  does  is  sponsor  and  arrange  and  put  together  the 
Western  Books  Exhibition,  which  is  an  exhibition  of  books 
made  in  the  West.   More  and  more  books  are  being  made  all 
over  the  world.   You  might  have  the  typesetting  done  in 
Texas  and  the  printing  done  in  Tennessee  and  the  binding 


163 


recently  the  Western  Books  [Exhibition]  has  come  to  kind  of 

an  unwritten  agreement  that  we're  going  back  to  the  old-- 

Definitely  the  book  has  to  be  made  and  manufactured, 

designed  and  published  in  the  western  states.   And  that 

limits  us  in  some  respects,  but  also  I  think  it  may  attract 

more  local  people. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   And  smaller  printers  and  limited  edition  printers, 

if  we  do  that. 

ZEIGLER:   Is  there  some  sort  of  similar  contest  for  the 

eastern  states  or  for  the  whole  United  States?   I'm  new  to 

the  whole  area. 

GERRY:   I  think  that  the  lAGA,  the  International  Alliance 

of  Graphic  Artists,  has  a  show  every  year  of  books  for  the 

book  show.   They  also  do  a  lot  of  advertising-art  shows. 

They  are  interested  in  graphic  arts,  but  they  also  have  a 

book  show.   To  be  in  that  is  always  prestigious.   I  guess 

not  quite  so  much  as  it  once  was.   But  I  remember  a  piece 

of  ephemera  that  Gregg  Anderson  had  printed,  that  they  were 

going  to  kick  Grant  Dahlstrom  out  of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin 

Club  because  his  books  had  appeared  too  frequently  in  the 

lAGA  show  and  they  were  jealous.   They  were  going  to  kick 

him  out. 

ZEIGLER:   [laughter]   Seriously? 

GERRY:   It  was  just  a  joke.   It  was  like  a  broadside  he  had 


165 


printed  announcing  Grant  Dahlstrom  would  be  kicked  out. 

ZEIGLER:   I  thought  it  sounded  like  a  typical  Rounce  and 

Coffin  Club  joke. 

GERRY:   Well,  they  don't  do  too  much  joking  anymore.   Not 

like  they  once  did. 

ZEIGLER:   Is  there  any  worldwide  organization  that  chooses 

the  best  books  printed? 

GERRY:   I'm  sure  there  is,  but  I  couldn't  tell  you  which 

one.   I  couldn't  tell  you  the  name  of  it,  but  I'm  sure 

there  must  be  an  international  show  somewhere. 

ZEIGLER:   Could  you  tell  me  a  little  more  about  judging  the 

Western  Books  Exhibition?   Are  the  judges  generally  members 

of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club? 

GERRY:   Judges  are  always  members.   Well,  no,  I  won't  say 

always.   Sometimes  there  are  guests  invited  to  be  judges, 

but  largely  they're  from  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   And  I 

think  they  generally  try  to  have  a  printer  and  a 

librarian.   You  know,  a  rounded-out  group,  not  just  all 

printers  or  all  binders  or  all  collectors. 

ZEIGLER:   Have  you  been  a  judge  yourself? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  I've  been  a  judge  a  couple  of  times.   I  like 

it  especially  because  you  can  see  firsthand  every  book 

that's  been  submitted.   And  then  as  far  as  the  judging 

goes,  I  think  everybody  has  their  own  criteria,  what  they 

like  and  what  they  don't  like.   Naturally,  anything  that's 


166 


printed  announcing  Grant  Dahlstrom  would  be  kicked  out. 

ZEIGLER:   I  thought  it  sounded  like  a  typical  Rounce  and 

Coffin  Club  joke. 

GERRY:   Well,  they  don't  do  too  much  joking  anymore.   Not 

like  they  once  did. 

ZEIGLER:   Is  there  any  worldwide  organization  that  chooses 

the  best  books  printed? 

GERRY:   I'm  sure  there  is,  but  I  couldn't  tell  you  which 

one.   I  couldn't  tell  you  the  name  of  it,  but  I'm  sure 

there  must  be  an  international  show  somewhere. 

ZEIGLER:   Could  you  tell  me  a  little  more  about  judging  the 

Western  Books  Exhibition?   Are  the  judges  generally  members 

of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club? 

GERRY:   Judges  are  always  members.   Well,  no,  I  won't  say 

always.   Sometimes  there  are  guests  invited  to  be  judges, 

but  largely  they're  from  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club.   And  I 

think  they  generally  try  to  have  a  printer  and  a 

librarian.   You  know,  a  rounded-out  group,  not  just  all 

printers  or  all  binders  or  all  collectors. 

ZEIGLER:   Have  you  been  a  judge  yourself? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  I've  been  a  judge  a  couple  of  times.   I  like 

it  especially  because  you  can  see  firsthand  every  book 

that's  been  submitted.   And  then  as  far  as  the  judging 

goes,  I  think  everybody  has  their  own  criteria,  what  they 

like  and  what  they  don't  like.   Naturally,  anything  that's 


166 


offensive  to  the  eye  of  the  book  lover  is  questioned  and 
pretty  much  follows  the  traditional  lines  of  book-printing 
design.   It's  not  a  contest;  it's  merely  a  contest  to  get 
in  the  show.   There's  no  first,  second,  or  third  place. 
You  either  get  in  the  show  or  you  don't.   So  there  are 
usually  around  fifty  books  from  the  West  that  make  it.   And 
out  of  those  I'd  say,  depending  on  the  year--  There  are  not 
that  many  rejects,  I  don't  think.   Out  of  fifty  books, 
there  might  be  ten  rejects.   If  there  are  fifty  books  that 
are  going  to  be  in  the  show,  there  might  be  ten  on  the 
other  table  that  have  been  rejected.   And  you  can  argue 
these  books  as  many  times  as  you  want  with  the  other 
members  if  you  feel  they  should  be  in.   So  it's  a  pretty 
good  system.   Sometimes  you  vote  by  a  one  to  ten,  or  you 
just  vote  in  and  out.   It  depends  on  whoever  is  running  the 
judging  that  year.   They  usually  set  up  the  criteria,  how 
to  judge  it.   But  in  the  end,  it's  pretty  much  up  to  each 
individual's  taste.   What  he  thinks  is  right. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   What  do  you  mean  when  you  say  offensive  to 
the  eye  of  a  book  lover? 

GERRY:   Well,  as  in  the  margins  are  not  traditional  or  the 
margins  are  distracting.   If  the  pages  bounce  up  and  down 
because  the  book  wasn't  folded  right  or  wasn't  printed 
exactly  right.   Or  oddities  of  lettering.   Or  peculiar  uses 
of  type,  I  suppose. 


167 


ZEIGLER:  I'd  like  to  have  you  look  at  the  printing  of  the 
[UCLA]  library  school  students  and  tell  us  which  would  get 
in  and  which  wouldn't.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   I  liked  all  those  examples  I  saw  in  the  hallway. 
Those  were  very  good. 

A  lot  of  times  judges  tend  to  reject  books  because 
they're  ordinary,  and  then  you  have  to  argue  the  book  in. 
So  ordinary  is  not  a  reason  to  reject  a  book.   Dahlstrom 
said,  "If  the  book  meets  its  typographical  responsi- 
bilities, it's  a  successful  book."   And  so  just  because  a 
book  doesn't  knock  your  eyes  out--like  a  Saul  Marks  book  or 
a  Bruce  Rogers  book--doesn' t  mean  it  should  be  rejected 
just  because  it's  not  as  breathtaking. 

ZEIGLER:   By  "meets  its  typographical  responsibilities," 
you  mean  essentially  what  Beatrice  Warde  said,  that  it 
conveys  the  content  without  distracting  from  the  content. 
GERRY:   Yes.   I've  seen  books  rejected  that  had  a  very 
difficult  subject  matter  with  thousands  of  pictures  with 
many  notations.   The  judge  tends  to  look  at  this  book  and 
think,  "This  is  a  boring  book."   But  the  man  who  designed 
it  put  in  a  great  deal  of  effort  to  make  you  be  able  to 
even  comprehend  what  he's  got  in  there.   Like,  say,  for 
instance,  if  it's  a  book  on  seashells  or  something  of  that 
nature,  well,  you've  got  thousands  and  thousands  of  shells 
that  all  have  to  be  arranged  with  notes  and  text  and 


168 


figures  on  every  one.   It's  a  very  difficult  book  to 
design,  but  it's  never  going  to  look  as  good  as —  It's 
never  going  to  make  you  say,  "Wow,  what  a  title  page!   It 
looks  just  like  a  Bruce  Rogers.   It's  a  beautiful  thing." 
But  it  has  lived  up  to  its  typographical  responsi- 
bilities.  Judges  want  every  book  to  look  like  a  Grabhorn 
[Press]  or  a  Saul  Marks.   There  aren't  that  many  that  look 

that  way. 

ZEIGLER:   As  you  say,  a  lot  of  them  have  no  particular 
reason  to  look  that  way.   But  what  about  something  that 
really,  maybe,  offends  the  canons  of  how  you  make  a  book, 
but  seems  to  be  doing  it  for  a  deliberate  artistic 
reason?   I  mean,  say  it  has  very  narrow  margins  because  for 
some  reason  the  printer  thought  it  would  convey  the  idea 
that  he  wanted  to  have  a  very  solidly  printed  page  with  no 

white  on  it. 

GERRY:   I  think  more  and  more  books  are  being  accepted  that 
wouldn't  have  been  accepted  in  the  past,  that  are 
innovative.   We  may  have  been  more  cautious  in  the  past. 
We  do  accept--  I  think  the  judges  accept  books  that  are 
more  on  the  bizarre  side,  with  plastic  covers  and  spiral- 
bound  and  with  a  multitude  of  different  mediums,  silk- 
screening  and  hand  stenciling.   And  picture  books,  maybe, 
that  might  not  qualify. 
ZEIGLER:   What  about  the  whole  realm  of  artists'  books? 


169 


reall 
GERRY 
those 
reaso 


4 


publi 

ZEIGl 
produ 
GERRy 

of 

into 

ze:g; 
boolu 
you* 
Ejhil 
GERR1 
thei, 
goti 

COUl{ 

ZEIGl 
ques' 
prill' 
prin' 


You  get  some  really  weird  things  in  that  because  it's  not 

really  a  book  so  much  as  it  is  a  sculpture. 

GERRY:   I  think  we're  going  to  see- -I  hope  to  see- -more  of 

those  come  the  way  of  the  Western  Books.   I  guess  the  main 

reason  they  won't  is  because  a  lot  of  those  are  only  one 

copy.   They  are  one-of-a-kind  books;  they're  not  really 

published. 

ZEIGLER:   Do  you  have  a  rule  that  it  has  to  have  been 

produced  in  multiple  copies? 

GERRY:   It's  an  unwritten  rule,  I  think.   I  tend  to  think 

of  books  that  are  published  in  a  number.   I  mean,  the 

number  could  be  twenty-five,  but  one  book  I  think  falls 

into  the  realm  of  an  object  of  art  rather  than  a  book. 

ZEIGLER:   What  are  some  of  the  most  outstanding  books  or 

books  that  you  especially  remember  from  either  the  years 

you  were  judging  or  from  any  other  Western  Books 

Exhibitions? 

GERRY:   Gosh,  I  don't  think  I  could--  There  were  so  many  of 

them.   I  really  couldn't  say.   I'd  have  to  have  a  list  or 

go  through  the  collection.   I'm  sure  there's  one  that  I 

could  mention,  but  I  can't  right  offhand. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  I  didn't  give  you  forewarning  about  this 

question.   Los  Angeles  is  really  a  pretty  major  center  of 

printing  in  the  United  States  now,  isn't  it?   Of  fine 

printing  or  limited  edition  printing,  isn't  it? 


170 


even  the  western  states.   They  don't  seem  to  be  doing  quite 
as  much  as  they  had  in  the  past,  yet  they  still  are 
going.   The  Arion  Press  and  Wesley  Tanner  and  Jack  [W.] 
Stauffacher.   Jack  Stauffacher  probably  isn't  as  active  as 
he  once  was,  but  certainly  Wesley  Tanner  and  a  number  of 
others  whose  names  I  can't  remember  are  active  in  San 
Francisco. 
ZEIGLER:   Have  you  met  some  of  these  San  Francisco 

printers? 

GERRY:   Yes,  Wesley  Tanner  I've  met.   I  knew  Adrian  Wilson 

for  a  little  bit.   I  don't  think  he  knew  my  name,  but  we 

had  talked  together  a  couple  of  times.   Right  in  the  middle 

of  the  Grabhorns?   That's  about  all. 

ZEIGLER:   Let's  see,  I  had  here  a  list  of  printers  in  the 

Los  Angeles  area  that  I  was  going  to  ask  about.   And  some 

of  these  may  be,  sort  of,  before  your  time,  but--  Well, 

we've  already  talked  about  a  lot  of  them  too,  but  did  you 

ever  know  Gregg  Anderson? 

GERRY:   No,  Gregg  I  didn't  know.   I  just  knew  of  him.   See, 

he  was  killed  in  the  war. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  he  died  pretty  young,  didn't  he? 

GERRY:   He  was  maybe  not  forty  yet  when  he  died  in  World 

War  II. 

ZEIGLER:   And  that  was  just  about  the  time  you  were 

starting  out  as  an  apprentice  with  Grant,  wasn't  it' 


172 


-o 


GERRY:   Yeah,  I  guess  so.   He  died  in  the  D  day  landing,  so 

he  was  in  the  army  when  I  started  with  Grant.   I  don't 

know,  I  guess  it  was  a  patriotic  thing,  because  he  was  not 

a  young  man.   He  was  younger  than  Grant,  but  he  was 

probably  in  his  late  thirties  when  he  went  into  the  army  on 

a  volunteer  basis.   And  he  seemed  to  enjoy  it  from  the 

letters  I've  read.   But  I  didn't  know  him,  just  knew  of 

him. 

ZEIGLER:   Did  you  know  Alvin  Lustig? 

GERRY:   No,  Alvin  was  before  my  time.   By  the  time  I  became 

aware  of  Alvin,  he  was  a  top  designer  in  New  York  and  one 

that  our  advertising-design  teachers  would  often  refer  to 

when  I  was  in  school  at  the  Chouinard  school  [Chouinard  Art 

Institute] .   Lustig  was  kind  of  a  real  hot-dog  designer 

then. 

ZEIGLER:   What  about  Merle  Armitage? 

GERRY:   No,  Armitage  I  never  knew  either. 

ZEIGLER:   He  tended  to  do  very  melodramatic  things,  didn't 

he? 

GERRY:   Well,  he  tended  to  do  what  he  called  modern  books, 

design  modern  books.   He  liked  to  use  sans  serif  types  in 

his  books.   Although  Grant  claims  that  Armitage  in  the  late 

twenties  had  given  a  lecture  called  "The  Heritage  of  Modern 

Art"  or  something-- forgive  me  on  the  title--and  had  decided 

to  have  it  printed.   Grant  Dahlstrom  designed  it,  and  it 


173 


was  designed--  What  Merle  wanted  was  something  very  modern, 

and  Grant  designed  this.   Grant  always  claimed  that's  where 

Merle  got  all  of  his  ideas  for  how  he  would  design  the  rest 

of  his  books,  from  this  thing  that  Grant  had  done.   But  I 

don't  know  how  true  that  is  or  not.   It  was  called--  What 

was  it?   The  Heritage  of  Art  or  something.   Grant  designed 

it,  and  I  think  they  printed  it  at  [Bruce]  McCallister ' s. 

ZEIGLER:   I  may  have  seen  it  at  the  Clark,  but  I  don't 

remember  the  title. 

GERRY:   It's  all  in  black  with  a  little  white  pasted  label 

on  the  cover.   It's  a  black  paper  cover  with  a  little  white 

pasted  label  done  by  Grace  Marion  Brown,  some  design  she 

did. 

ZEIGLER:   I  haven't  heard  of  her.   Could  you  tell  me  a 

little  about  her? 

GERRY:   I  know  absolutely  nothing  about  her,  I'm  sorry.   I 

just  associate  her  name  with  that  particular  book,  which  is 

really  a  booklet  or  a  pamphlet.   I  think  she  designed  a 

cricket  or  a  grasshopper,  some  sort  of  bug,  for  Jake 

Zeitlin.   And  he  used  it  as  his  trademark  off  and  on. 

That's  all  I  know  of  her. 

ZEIGLER:   Let's  see,  would  you  have  known  Bruce 

McCallister,  or  was  he  too  early  for  you? 

GERRY:   He  may  have  come  into  the  shop  there  when  I  was 

working  for  Grant  in  the  forties,  but  I  don't  remember 


174 


him.   I  just,  you  know,  know  of  him.   Grant  used  to  talk 

very  highly  of  him.   Grant  had  spent  a  large  part  of  his 

career  in  conjunction  with  Bruce  McCallister.   I  think  from 

'27  to  '43,  they  worked  together  off  and  on. 

ZEIGLER  Do  you  have  some  sense  of  what  his  influence  was 

on  Los  Angeles  printing? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  he  was  a  promoter  of  fine  printing,  and  at 

every  opportunity  he  produced  fine  printing,  but  he  was 

himself  not  so  much  a  printer  as  he  was  a  good 

businessman.   But  what  he  knew,  he  knew  good  printing  when 

he  saw  it.   That's  why  he  latched  onto  Grant  when  Grant 

came  to  California,  and  forever  after  whatever  McCallister 

did  that  stands  out  was  designed  by  Grant  for  him. 

ZEIGLER:   Well,  first  of  all,  something  I've  been  kind  of 

curious  about  is  it  seems  that  within  the  Los  Angeles  area, 

Pasadena  is  really  a  center  for  printers.   Why  do  you  think 

that  is? 

GERRY:   I'd  never  thought  of  that.   Well,  there  was  the 

first  Castle  Press  with  Roscoe  Thomas  and  House  Olson-- 

Olson  was  a  darned  good  typographer- -and  then  Grant  took 

that  over.   Then  there  was  [Scott  E.]  Haselton.   He's  the 

only  other  printer  who  did  books  that  I  know  of  in 

Pasadena. 

ZEIGLER:   Well,  and  then  there's  you. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  but  I  was  a  lot  later.   See,  they'd  all-- 


175 


Well,  no.  Grant  was  printing.   The  Castle  Press  is  still 
going  with  its  third  set  of  owners--and  very  successfully, 
I  might  add--up  in  Altadena.   I  guess  it's  still  Pasadena. 
ZEIGLER:   Has  the  Castle  Press  maintained  any  continuity  of 
style  through  its  different  owners,  or  has  it  really  sort 
of  become  a  different  press  with  each  different  set  of 
owners? 

GERRY:   I  think  it's  really  become  a  very  expanded  press. 
They  do  a  lot  more  color  work  and  less  bookwork.   But 
whenever  they  do  books,  they  do--  If  there's  any 
continuity,  I  think  it  goes  through  George  Kinney.   He's 
fond  of  fine  printing.   Although  he  is  more  of  a  commercial 
printer,  he's  very  fond  of  fine  printing.   He's  had  his 
hand  in  fine  printing,  having  apprenticed,  I  think, 
somewhat  with  Paul  Bailey  of  the  Western  Lore  Press.   But 
Elva  Marshall  is  usually  the  designer.   She's  been  with  the 
Castle  Press  quite  a  number  of  years  and  was  a  long  time 
with  Grant.   She  does  most  of  the  designing  when  it  comes 
to  books ,   I  don ' t  think  that  George  seeks  out  books  to  do 
like,  say,  for  instance.  Grant  did.   But  as  for  printers  of 
Pasadena,  I  don't  know.   Other  than  Haselton-- 
ZEIGLER:   It's  also  been  a  center  for  bibliophiles,  too, 
hasn't  it? 

GERRY:   Well,  the  Huntington  Library. 
ZEIGLER:   Lawrence  Clark  Powell  was  there.   And  the 


176 


Huntington  and  Occidental  College  have  been  a  center  for 
interest. 

GERRY:   Well,  I  guess  you  could  say  Clyde  Browne  [Abbey  of 
San  Encino  Press]  was  pretty  close  to  Pasadena,  being  in 
Garvanza,  which  is  like  on  the  outskirts  of  Pasadena  near 
Highland  Park,  adjacent  to  Pasadena.   Then  I  guess  there 
were  some  printers  out  by  Claremont,  the  Saunders  Studio 
Press,  and  Thomas  Williams  and  the  Fine  Arts  Press  was  in 
Santa  Ana.   I  guess  it  was.   But  that's  all  I  can  think  of 
in  Pasadena. 

ZEIGLER:   Well,  could  you  talk  a  little  about  some  of  the 
booksellers  you've  known?   We've  already  mentioned  quite  a 
few  of  them,  Jake  Zeitlin  and  Glen  Dawson  and  Jim  [James 
E.]  Lorson.   Could  you  maybe  tell  a  little  more  about  them 
and  any  others  and  sort  of  what  you  think  their  influence 
is  on  printing  in  Los  Angeles? 

GERRY:   Oh,  certainly  the  Dawsons  are  very  influential  in 
that  they  do--  I  don't  mean  to  say  that  they  influence  the 
way  printing  looks,  but  they  publish  quite  a  bit  of 
material  and  they  use  local  printers,  Los  Angeles  and 
Pasadena  printers.   They're  the  friends  of  printers.   The 
bookshop  itself  is  a  friend.   It  has  a  fine  printing 
department,  books  about  printing,  books  about  books.   And 
like  I  say,  they  sent  a  lot  of  printing  work  out  in  terms 
of  books  like--  The  Baja  California  travel  series  is  going 


177 


on  ai 
Then 
info: 
will 

Hoff: 

GERK' 

ZEIG 

GERR 

abou 

wrot 

can' 

the 

ini. 

he  H 

prin' 

help 

zeig: 

Zeit 

Ange 

GERR' 

on  tl 

book: 

also 

zeig: 


1 


on  and  on.   I  can't  remember  how  many  of  them  there  are. 
There  might  be  sixty  of  them.   Then  there  are  a  number  of 
informal  series  on  Los  Angeles  artists.   Somebody  local 
will  print  those.   I've  printed  one.   Dick  [Richard] 
Hoffman  prints  an  awful  lot  of  books  where  they-- 
ZEIGLER:   Which  is  the  one  you  printed? 
GERRY:   I  did  one  called  House  Olson,  [Printer] . 
ZEIGLER:   Oh,  yeah. 

GERRY:   That  David  W.  Davies  wrote.   And  I  designed  one 
about  Ward  Ritchie  that  Pat  Reagh  printed  and  Davies 
wrote.   There  may  be  another  one  I  was  involved  with.   I 
can't  remember  right  off.   And  also  Dawson's  easily  handles 
the  kinds  of  books  I  like  to  buy.   So  I  think  they're  very 
influential.   Now  Jake  is  gone  and  the  store  is  gone.   But 
he  was  the  same  way.   He  was  very  friendly  to  local 
printers,  printers  who  did  good  work.   He  always  tried  to 
help  them  by  giving  them  jobs  or  giving  them  books  to  do. 
ZEIGLER:   Would  it  be  fair  to  say  that  Dawson's  and  Jake 
Zeitlin's,  between  them,  have  done  a  lot  to  teach  Los 
Angeles  printers  about  the  whole  tradition  of  printing? 
GERRY:   Right.   By  making  books  available  for  sale  that  are 
on  the  subject  and  by  having  people  give  talks  at  the 
bookstore.   I  mean,  I'm  sure  that's  good  business,  but  it's 
also  very  promotional  of  good  printing. 
ZEIGLER:   Yes. 


178 


on  and  on.   I  can't  remember  how  many  of  them  there  are. 
There  might  be  sixty  of  them.   Then  there  are  a  number  of 
informal  series  on  Los  Angeles  artists.   Somebody  local 
will  print  those.   I've  printed  one.   Dick  [Richard] 
Hoffman  prints  an  awful  lot  of  books  where  they-- 
ZEIGLER:   Which  is  the  one  you  printed? 
GERRY:   I  did  one  called  House  Olson,  [Printer] . 
ZEIGLER:   Oh,  yeah. 

GERRY:   That  David  W.  Davies  wrote.   And  I  designed  one 
about  Ward  Ritchie  that  Pat  Reagh  printed  and  Davies 
wrote.   There  may  be  another  one  I  was  involved  with.   I 
can't  remember  right  off.   And  also  Dawson's  easily  handles 
the  kinds  of  books  I  like  to  buy.   So  I  think  they're  very 
influential.   Now  Jake  is  gone  and  the  store  is  gone.   But 
he  was  the  same  way.   He  was  very  friendly  to  local 
printers,  printers  who  did  good  work.   He  always  tried  to 
help  them  by  giving  them  jobs  or  giving  them  books  to  do. 
ZEIGLER:   Would  it  be  fair  to  say  that  Dawson's  and  Jake 
Zeitlin's,  between  them,  have  done  a  lot  to  teach  Los 
Angeles  printers  about  the  whole  tradition  of  printing? 
GERRY:   Right.   By  making  books  available  for  sale  that  are 
on  the  subject  and  by  having  people  give  talks  at  the 
bookstore.   I  mean,  I'm  sure  that's  good  business,  but  it's 
also  very  promotional  of  good  printing. 
ZEIGLER:   Yes. 


178 


GERRY:   I  think  Jim  [James  E.]  Lorson  to  a  certain  extent 
does  the  same  thing,  although  he's  a  newer  book  dealer. 
He's  in  Fullerton,  but  he  sought  me  out  and  bought  books 
from  me  and  is  still  trying  to  sell  some  of  them.   He  has 
had  a  few  things  published.   We  did  a  leaf  book  for  him.   I 
designed  it  and  Pat  printed  it.   It  was  an  extensive  leaf 
book.   I  mean,  it  might  have  been  rather  a  large, 
inexpensive  book  on  Mercator,  and  it  had  a  map  as  a  leaf. 
ZEIGLER:   That  was  a  famous  early  atlas,  wasn't  it? 
GERRY:   Right.   And  other  things  Jim  has  published  and  had 
other  local  printers  do  for  him. 

ZEIGLER:   Is  there  any  other  bookseller  around  who  is  sort 
of  playing  the  same  role  that  Jim  Lorson  is  playing? 
GERRY:   Well,  Bill  [William]  Dailey,  I  think,  has  the  kind 
of  shop  that  has  the  books  in  it.   He's  just  so  far  away 
that  I  hardly  ever  go  there.   I  mean,  to  me  far  away  is  way 
out  on  Melrose  [Avenue] . 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  I  go  to  Dailey 's  [William  and  Victoria 
Dailey  Rare  Books  and  Fine  Prints]  quite  a  bit. 
GERRY:   Dailey  encourages  printers.   He  did  a  lot  of  stuff 
to  get  Pat  going. 

ZEIGLER:   Last  time  I  was  there,  he  had  a  beautiful  bag 
that  had  a  print  of  a  mountain  scene  on  it.   I  wondered  who 
printed  that.   I  wonder  if  you  happen  to  know. 
GERRY:   A  bag?   You  mean  like  a  paper  bag? 


179 


TAPE  NUMBER:   V,  SIDE  TWO 
MAY  18,  1989 

ZEIGLER:   Okay,  I  mistakenly  said  that  Laura  Dorothy  Bevis 
worked  for  Zeitlin,  and  you  pointed  out  that  she  worked  for 
Dawson's.   Well,  maybe  you  can  think  of  other  people  that 
have  worked  for  either  Zeitlin  or  Dawson's  or  any  of  these 
other  booksellers. 

GERRY:   Well,  Jake  seems  to  have  made  more  book  dealers 
than  anybody  else,  at  least  to  my  knowledge.   Now,  Gary 
Steiger  worked  for  Jake  for  a  while.   Then  he  left  for  the 
East — I  wish  I  could  say  where,  Iowa  or  something  like 
that- -where  he  has  a  bookstore.   Then  Michael  Thompson 
apprenticed  with  Jake,  and  he  has  a  store  on  Melrose 
[Avenue],  a  bookstore.   And  Jeff  Weber.   And  there  were  a 
couple  of  others  who  worked  with  Jake  and  went  off  and 
started  their  own  bookstores.   So  he  must  have  made  it  seem 
like  it's  fun  to  have  a  bookstore. 

ZEIGLER:   [laughter]   I  never  met  him.   I  gather  he  was  a 
very  enthusiastic  and  fun-loving  man.   Was  he? 
GERRY:   Yeah.   Of  course,  when  I  knew  him  he  was  in  his 
later  years.   But  he  loved  a  good  joke,  and  he  was  very 
generous  and  warm.   And  I  was  always  amazed  that  he  knew 
almost  everybody  in  the  world,  but  in  a  very  unimpressive 
way.   I  mean  to  say  he  was  not  a  name-dropper  or 
anything.   He  seemed  to  know  everybody  and  to  treat 

182 


everybody  equally,  no  matter  what  their  status. 

I  remember  Dreyfus  had  come  to  town  for  some  reason, 
John  Dreyfus,  and  Jake--this  was  soon  after  Grant  died — 
wanted  to  have  a  breakfast  in  his  honor.   So  he  invited  Pat 
and  myself  down  to  the  Scandia  restaurant  for  breakfast 
with  John  Dreyfus.   I  guess  it  would  be  a  brunch.   They  had 
a  number  of  people  there.   I  brought  along  Mrs.  Dahlstrom, 
who  was  a  friend  of  Dreyfus  and  she  wanted  to  see  him. 
Grant  had  died  maybe  only  months  before.   So  I  brought  her 
along.   He  was  generous  in  that  sort  of  way,  getting  people 
together. 

But  I'll  tell  you,  he  was  a  shrewd  book  dealer.   I 
always  love  to  tell  the  story  that  he  had  contacted  me  to 
do  a  compliment  card  with  a  little  envelope.   It  was  a  very 
simple  job,  but  we  hashed  it  over  a  couple  of  times  and  I 
was  in  the  mood  one  gets  in- -no  matter  what  business 
they're  in--that  they're  not  going  to  be  taken  for  a  ride 
on  this  job.   They're  going  to  charge  what  the  job  is 
worth.   Occasionally  it  comes  across,  for  instance  in  mine, 
that  they've  been  cheating  themselves.   So  I'm  going  to 
charge  Jake  what  this  job  was  worth.   And  it's  a  very 
insignificant  job.   These  little  cards  with  his  name  on  it 
and  "the  compliments  of"  and  an  envelope  with  his  name 
printed  on  it.   It  was  in  two  colors.   So  I  said,  "Jake, 
this  is  $45."   And  he  said,  "Oh?   Well,  hmm.   Okay." 


183 


So  later  on  I  was  out  in  the  shop--  No,  I  guess  I  had 
been  waiting  for  him.   He  was  busy.   I  was  looking  around 
the  shop  and  I  found  a  stack  of  three  magazines.   They  were 
French  magazines  on  books  called  The  Garden  of  Books, 
something  like  that.   I  said,  "Jake,  look  at  these 
magazines.   These  are  really  nice,  but  there's  no  price  on 
them.   What  are  they  going  to  cost  me?"   He  said,  "Let  me 
look  at  those.   Oh,  I  think  $45."   [laughter] 
ZEIGLER:   So  you  just  traded. 

GERRY:   It  was  the  only  thing  in  the  bookstore  that  didn't 
have  a  price  on  it,  and  I  picked  it.   But  then  I  said, 
"Jake,  what  should  I  do  with  these?   I  think  I'll  rebind 
these."   "No,  don't  do  that.   Just  make  a  slipcase  for 
them."   So  that's  what  I  did.   So  he  gave  me  $45  worth  of 
advice. 

ZEIGLER:   You've  done  several  printing  jobs  for  Jake.   I 
think  there  was  a  brochure  on  Paul  Landacre,  was  it? 
GERRY:   Right,  I  also  did  a  Piranesi  catalog  for  him.   That 
was  done  when  I  was  in  Fallbrook,  and  Pall  [W.]  Bohne  did 
all  the  photography  work.   I  remember  these  Piranesi 
etchings  were  lying  around--  Not  lying  around,  but  they 
were  in  Pall's  shop  for  months.   And  I  kept  asking  the  girl 
that  was  doing  the  catalog  for  Jake,  Carolyn  Bullard, 
"Don't  you  think  we  should  get  those  out  of  there?   Don't 
you  think  you  should  get  them  back  to  the  shop?"   "No, 


184 


they're  okay,  they're  okay."   Well,  it  turns  out  they  were, 
but  there  were  thousands  of  dollars '  worth  of  these  prints 
just  stored  in  his  office  there.   So  anyway,  there  was  no 
problem.   I  worked  with  a  local  printer  in  Fallbrook,  an 
offset  printer.   I  set  the  type,  printed  it,  pasted  it  up, 
and  then  they  stripped  in  photographs  of  the  prints.   Then 
they  printed,  trimmed,  and  shipped  the  whole  catalog  for 
me.   I  think  I  did  that  on  both  the  Landacre  and  the 
Piranesi  catalog.   And  Carol  had  the  idea  for  the  cover  of 
it.   There  was  a  Piranesi  print  that  covered  the  whole 
cover,  and  then  I  superimposed  the  title. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  I  remember  the  cover  was  very  nice. 
GERRY:   But  all  the  typesetting,  that  I  did.   I  suppose  I 
did  a  few  other  things.   I  never  did  a  book  for  him. 
Usually  when  somebody  comes  to  me  and  asks  for  a  book,  I 
don't  have  the  equipment  or  the  time.   Something  gets  in 
the  way. 

ZEIGLER:   Could  you  say  some  about  the  role  of  different 
institutions  in  the  Los  Angeles  area  and  encouraging 
printers  and  encouraging  interest  in  fine  books?   Maybe  the 
Clark  Library,  the  Huntington  Library,  Occidental  College, 
and  any  others  you  can  think  of. 

GERRY:   Well,  certainly  the  Clark.   I  mean,  they  have  a  big 
collection  of  material.   Like  even  some  of  the  job 
envelopes  from  my  press  they've  got.   I  mean,  they're  that 


185 


detailed  in  their  collection  of  Los  Angeles  printers,  as 

well  as  other  printers.   I  think  that  [William  Andrews] 

Clark  [Jr.]  himself  was  interested  in  fine  printing,  having 

had  John  Henry  Nash  do  a  lot  of  printing  for  him. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   So  I  think  the  tradition  that  he  established  has 

carried  on,  and  a  lot  of  fine-print,  bookish  events  take 

place  at  the  Clark.   And  they  have  a  lecture  series.   As 

far  as  the  Huntington  goes,  I  don't  really  know.   The 

Huntington  to  me  is  much  more  of  a  corporation. 

ZEIGLER:   How  so? 

GERRY:   Well,  maybe  it's  because  I  don't  know  so  many 

people  there,  but  it  seems  like-- 

ZEIGLER:   Is  Ed  [Edwin  H.]  Carpenter  there? 

GERRY:   Ed's  there,  yeah.   But  I  think  he's  retired.   I 

mean,  he  is  retired,  but  he  does  some  things  on  a  retainer 

basis  of  some  kind.   He  also  gives  lectures  for  the 

Huntington.   He  is  also  very  big  on  the  history  of  the 

Huntingtons,  and  he  gives  talks  on  that  for  which  he  is 

paid.   Or  the  Huntington  pays  him  to  give  the  talks,  I 

don ' t  know . 

ZEIGLER:   He's  been  very  interested  in  your  printing, 

hasn't  he? 

GERRY:   He  has  been  more  interested  than  anybody.   I  mean, 

he  came  to  my  place  one  time  and  he  wanted  some  ephemera. 


186 


So  I  said,  "Here's  this,  here's  that.   Oh,  look,  there's 

this  whole  drawer  full  of  stuff  here.   Take  this,  take 

that."   And  his  eyes  lighted  up  and  he  wanted  to  pay  me  for 

it.   I  said,  "Well,  no,  this  is  just  ephemeral  stuff  I  give 

away."   Well,  he  insisted  on  paying  for  it.   So  he's 

interested  in  the  littlest  details  about  ephemera  printing, 

when  it  was  done  or  who  did  it.   And  he  has  a  tremendous 

collection.   In  his  house  is  a  library. 

ZEIGLER:   Well,  just  because  it's  ephemera  doesn't  mean 

that  it's  not  good  printing.   Often  it's  some  of  the  best 

printing,  don't  you  think? 

GERRY:   Oh,  definitely.   But  I  certainly  didn't  intend  it 

to  be  paid  for.   So  he  asked  me  a  curious  question  the 

other  day.   I'm  starting  another  little  press  in  the 

backyard.  I  had  fooled  around  trying  to  get  this  press 

working.   I  printed  up  a  sample  of  ornaments  I  had 

designed,  and  Ed  said  to  me  the  other  day,  "Was  that  the 

first  imprint  of  this  particular  Weather  Bird  Press?"   And 

I  never  thought  of  it.   Yes,  it  was. 

ZEIGLER:   [laughter]   Yeah,  bibliophiles  expend  great 

effort  trying  to  find  out  that  sort  of  thing.   Printers 

ought  to  record  it  for  them. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  they  love  to  do  that  sleuthing.   So  yes,  it 

was. 

ZEIGLER:   Going  back  to  the  Clark--which,  of  course. 


187 


especially  interests  me — you've  done  some  work  for  the 
Clark.   I  know  you  did  the  owl,  didn't  you? 
GERRY:   Oh,  yes,  John  Bidwell —  I  can't  remember  when  he 
started,  but  it  was  just  around  the  time  that  Pat  and  I  got 
together  in  the  early  eighties — '80  or  '81 — John  contacted 
me  to  do  wood  engraving  for  the  Clark.   It  was  sort  of  a 
rush.   No,  it  wasn't  a  rush.   I  just  didn't  feel  I  had 
time.   But,  nevertheless,  I  did  two  of  them  that  were  the 
owl,  but  kind  of  untraditional  sort  of.   In  one  the  owl  was 
being  squashed  by  books . 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   [laughter] 

GERRY:   Then  I  can't  remember  what  the  other  one  was,  but 
it  said  Clark  Library  on  it.   So  they  accepted  the  wood 
engravings.   He  wanted  something  a  little  more  light- 
hearted  and  less  nineteenth  century  than  the  design  they 
have.   But  this  is  not  to  replace;  it's  just  to  supplement 
it.   So  they  used  it  on  lighter  things. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  I  know  we  use  it  on  our  pads  of  paper. 
GERRY:   Oh,  really? 

ZEIGLER:   It  looks  cute  with  books  falling  on  the  owl.   Has 
John  Bidwell  encouraged  you  to  do  a  lot  of  other  work?   I 
think  you  mentioned  that  he  talked  you  into  doing  the  map 
for  the  Bibliophiles  Association  ["A  Bibliophile's  Map  of 
Los  Angeles" ] . 
GERRY:   Yeah,  John's  the  guy  who  promotes.   He  usually  has 


188 


soiethinJ 
ChristMS 

encourages 

in  printiJ 
have  his  c 
that.  He' 
He's  the  i 
printing  \ 
and  plent] 
trying  to 
he  does  L 
Patrick  a: 
theCIaik, 
highreca 
ZEIGLER: 
interest  , 
Lawrence 
of  Los  1^ 
GERRY:   Q 
toolo^ 
ZEIGLES; 
GERRY:    I 
Hoxbui^ 

It  Has  OB 
1566,  i  b 


some  things  printed  by  Patrick.   I  mean,  his  own  personal 
Christmas  ards  he  has  printed  by  Pat  Reagh.   John 
encourages  rinters.   John  I  don't  think  is  much  interested 
in  printini  himself.   I  don't  mean  to  say  that  he  has  to 
have  his  oa  printshop  in  his  backyard  or  anything  like 
that.   He'  got  too  many  business--  Or  not  business,  but-- 
He's  the  eitor  of  some  nineteenth-century  works  on 
printing  tat  are  done  by  the  Garland  Press.   He  has  plenty 
and  plenty  more  than  enough  bibliography  work  without 
trying  to  rint  it  also.   So  that's  really  his  field.   But 
he  does  lie  fine  printing.   He  promoted  some  printing  that 
Patrick  ar  I  did  for  the  Clark.   Patrick  still  prints  for 
the  Clark, largely  due  to  John's  influence  I  think.   His 
high  recorr  andation. 

ZEIGLER:   eah.   Well,  librarians  have  taken  quite  a  bit  of 
interest  i  printing  and  encouraged  it.   What  about 
Lawrence  Cark  Powell?   He  was  really  a  friend  and  promoter 
of  Los  Angles  printers. 

GERRY:   Oh  yeah.   And  he's  still--  I  did  a  job  for  him  not 
too  long  ao. 
ZEIGLER:   hat  was  that? 

GERRY:   It  was  something  for  the  Zamorano  [Club]  and 
Roxburghe  Club]  meeting  last  year  called  Trans-Pacific. 
It  was  out  of  his  diary  about  flying  across  the  Pacific  in 
1966,  a  boklet  that  Patrick  and  I  printed  for  him.   And 


189 


some  things  printed  by  Patrick.   I  mean,  his  own  personal 
Christmas  cards  he  has  printed  by  Pat  Reagh.   John 
encourages  printers.   John  I  don't  think  is  much  interested 
in  printing  himself.   I  don't  mean  to  say  that  he  has  to 
have  his  own  printshop  in  his  backyard  or  anything  like 
that.   He's  got  too  many  business--  Or  not  business,  but-- 
He's  the  editor  of  some  nineteenth-century  works  on 
printing  that  are  done  by  the  Garland  Press.   He  has  plenty 
and  plenty,  more  than  enough  bibliography  work  without 
trying  to  print  it  also.   So  that's  really  his  field.   But 
he  does  like  fine  printing.   He  promoted  some  printing  that 
Patrick  and  I  did  for  the  Clark.   Patrick  still  prints  for 
the  Clark,  largely  due  to  John's  influence  I  think.   His 
high  recommendation. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   Well,  librarians  have  taken  quite  a  bit  of 
interest  in  printing  and  encouraged  it.   What  about 
Lawrence  Clark  Powell?   He  was  really  a  friend  and  promoter 
of  Los  Angeles  printers. 

GERRY:   Oh,  yeah.   And  he's  still--  I  did  a  job  for  him  not 
too  long  ago. 
ZEIGLER:   What  was  that? 

GERRY:   It  was  something  for  the  Zamorano  [Club]  and 
Roxburghe  [Club]  meeting  last  year  called  Trans-Pacific. 
It  was  out  of  his  diary  about  flying  across  the  Pacific  in 
1966,  a  booklet  that  Patrick  and  I  printed  for  him.   And 


189 


he's  after  me  to  do  a  book  of  a  chapter  from  The  Blue 
Train,  which  was  a  novel  he  wrote  as  a  young  man  in 
Dijon.   And  I  told  him  to  be  cautious.   I  have  so  many 
other  things  to  do  before  I  can  get  to  it.   He  was  one  of 
the  founders  of  the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club,  one  of  the 
supporters  and  the  voice  of  printers.   You  know,  he  is 
constantly  writing.   I  mean,  he  has  written  so  many  things 
that  have  indirectly  to  do  with  printers  and  printing. 
ZEIGLER:   I  sort  of  have  the  impression  that  he's  another 
reason  why  Pasadena  has  been  a  center  of  printing.   Because 
he  grew  up  in  Pasadena,  didn't  he?   And  encouraged  printers 
there . 

GERRY:   Well,  I  think  he  left  Pasadena  in  his  twenties.   I 
don't  think  he  came  back  to  Pasadena--  Well,  maybe  he  lived 
there.   But  I  don't  know  that  he  encouraged  any  Pasadena 
printers,  except  for  Ward.   Yeah,  Ward  was  a  Pasadena 
printer  for  a  while,  in  his  backyard.   Then  he  moved  over 
to  Los  Angeles.   I  think  he  lived  in  Pasadena,  though,  or 
at  least  part  of  his  life. 

ZEIGLER:   What  about  Occidental  College?   Have  some  people 
at  Occidental  College  played  a  role  in  encouraging 
printers? 

GERRY:   Tyrus  Harmsen  has  always  been  a  member  of  the 
Rounce  and  Coffin  Club,  and  he  wrote  the  first  book  about- - 
The  Plantin  Press  of  Saul  and  Lillian  Marks.   I  can't 


190 


award  certificates  too. 

ZEIGLER:   Have  you  done  a  lot  of  that  printing  for  the 
Western  Books  Exhibition? 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Oh,  I  wouldn't  say  a  lot.   I  try  to  do  my 
share,  I  guess  I  should  say  that. 

ZEIGLER:   Let's  see,  maybe  we  could  talk  a  little  bit  more 
about  the  economics  of  presses  such  as  yours.   Do  you  think 
that  small  presses  and  presses  that  try  to  do  fine  printing 
have  a  particular  niche  in  the  publishing  world?   I'm  not 
sure  if  I  phrased  that  question  exactly  right. 
GERRY:   They  certainly  have  a  niche,  you  know,  to  publish 
things  that  might  not  otherwise  be  published.   It  usually 
always  comes  down  to  poetry.   There  are  other  things. 
That's  their  niche.   And  also  to  keep  good  taste  in 
printing  alive.   And  also  innovation.   But  economically  I 
don't  think  it's--  I  would  say  ideally  it  would  be  more 
like  Saul  or  Ward  or  Grant  sets  the  example.   The  press 
functions  as  a  commercial  press,  so  it  can  sustain  itself 
financially.   The  owner  is  a  book-oriented  printer,  and  he 
can  run  a  book  through  his  shop  using  his  employees  and  do 
it  economically  because  he  can  offset  the  costs  against  his 
other  printing  that  he  does.   He  has  the  trained  employees 
to  do  the  work,  and  they  can  do  it  in  a  fairly  fast  way,  as 
opposed  to  doing  a  book  and  having  to  hire  the  person  or 
people  or  the  trade  work  to  be  done  individually.   In  other 


193 


words--  I  guess  I  don't  know  what  I'm  trying  to  say.   But 

it  seems  to  me  that  Grant  and  Ward  had  the  ideal  situation 

where  they  could- - 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  they  could  oversee  the  whole  process. 

GERRY:   They  can  oversee  the  whole  process,  but 

f inancially--if  you  want  to  talk  about  economics --they  can 

run  things  through  their  shop  more  economically  than  some 

small  little  printer  like  myself,  or  say  even  Pat  Reagh. 

Because  they  had  a  shop  that  was  working  eight  hours  every 

day.   They  could  run  it  through  in  slow  times  when  they 

might  have  had  to  pay  the  employees  anyway. 

But  I  don't  think  anybody,  any  private  press,  is  going 
to  get  rich.   You  can  see  the  prices  of  some  of  the  books 
and  you  think,  "Gee,  maybe  they  are  going  to  get  rich." 
But  I  doubt  it.   I  think  that  the  more  higher-priced  books 
are  just  more  reasonably  charged  than  the  ones,  say,  that 
are  practically  given  away.   You  give  away  your  labor.   You 
don ' t  charge  nearly  as  much  as  they  should  cost  because  you 
can't  believe  a  book  that  small  would  cost  so  much. 
ZEIGLER:   I  guess  the  costs  really  mount  up  with  buying  all 
the  paper  and  supplies  and  the  amount  of  work  you  put  into 
it. 

GERRY:   The  smaller  shop  like  mine  or  I  would  say  like  Joe 
D'Ambrosio  or  Eric  Voss--  People  that  work  on  that  scale 
generally  do  almost  all  the  labor  themselves,  and  that's 


194 


free--practically — because  they're  all  giving  it  away.   I 
don't  want  to  say  Joe's  giving  it  away.   You're  practically 
giving  it  away.   You  have  to  do  it  because  you  love  to  do 
it.   You're  not  ever  going  to  make  any  money  at  it. 

Now,  then  there  are  exceptions.   On  the  outer  margins 
there  are  people  like  Andrew  Hoyem  [of  Arion  Press]  who 
apparently  do  pretty  well.   I  mean,  he's  able  to  afford  to 
keep  going.   He  was  able  to  buy  out  Mackensie  and  Harris, 
Typesetters,  that  were  threatening  to  go  under.   That's  at 
one  end.   But  there  aren't  very  many  people  like  that. 
Also,  I  think  selling  and  promoting  is  like  anything, 
whether  it ' s  for  Simon  and  Schuster  or  the  Weather  Bird 
Press.   It's  the  same  thing;  you've  got  to  sell  it.   And  I 
think  that  Hoyem  does  a  very  good  job  at  that.   He's  not 
only  a  great  printer,  he's  a  darned  good  salesman.   Those 
are  the  more  successful,  to  have  those  two  abilities  in  one 
person. 

ZEIGLER:   And  of  course  selling  costs  you  money  in  itself, 
just  printing  the  prospectuses  and  distributing  them  and 
sending  them  out  and  so  on. 

GERRY:   And  the  public  appearances.   Is  that  what  you  meant 
by  economics? 

ZEIGLER:   Yes.   Could  you  say  how  you  go  about  promoting 
your  books? 
GERRY:   I  try  to  send  out  a  catalog  and —  I'm  very  poor  at 


195 


this,  at  keeping  a  good  list  of  people  who  have  bought  from 
me  before:  book  dealers,  libraries.   I  don't  do  a  very  good 
job  of  it.   I  like  to  just  send  out  a  catalog.   I  used  to 
send  out  Weather  Bird  to  people  who  have  bought  from  me 
during  the  year  and  I  would  sent  out  maybe  postcards. 
Personal  calls,  very  few.   It's  because  I  don't  like  to  do 
it  that  I  don't  do  it.   Personal  calls  do  more  for  selling 
a  book  than  anything  else,  but  I  just  never  do  it.   And  if 
you  could  carry  a  bundle  of  your  books  into  a  book  dealer 
who  might  be  sympathetic,  chances  are  you  will  sell  one. 
But  then,  who  is  interested  in  selling?   It  isn't  that  much 
fun.   [laughter] 

ZEIGLER:   The  fun  is  in  the  making. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   But  to  be  successful,  you've  got  to  do 
both.   I  should  do  more.   I  often  thought  I  would  go  once  a 
year  up  and  down  the  coast  of  California  and  hit  all  the 
bookshops  that  might  be  interested.   Make  a  real  trip  out 
of  it,  a  real  selling  tour.   But  I  never  do  it.   Because 
that  could  be  fun  also,  you  know.   But  I  never  get  around 
to  doing  it. 

ZEIGLER:   For  instance,  if  it  were  me  doing  it,  I  would 
probably  come  home  more  broke  than  when  I  started  because 
I'd  buy  things  in  each  of  those  bookshops. 
GERRY:   That's  the  danger  of  being  a  collector  and  a 
printer.   I  seldom  go  to  Dawson's,  to  sell  them  a  book. 


196 


that  I  don't  buy  one  which  is  usually  more  expensive. 
ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  well,  that  has  its  dangers.   Being  a  book 
lover  is  an  expensive  proposition. 

GERRY:   Right.   That's  why  I  guess  I  have  always  had  to 
work  in  some  other  field  to  pay  for  it. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah.   Who  would  you  say  your  customers  are?   I 
mean,  what  groups  of  people  are  customers? 
GERRY:   Libraries.   I  used  to  have  a  list  I'd  send  out  of 
who  were  pretty  good  buyers.   Libraries  change  back  and 
forth  from  one  policy  to  another.   Year  to  year  they 
change.   You  try  to  find  a  library  that's  assembling  a 
collection  of  private  printing  and  then  that  does  pretty 
well  for  you.   So  naturally  the  local  libraries,  like  the 
Clark--  I  don't  know  about  Occidental,  but  the  Clark  for 
sure  collects  some  things,  my  things- -my  printing.   And 
there  may  be  somebody  else.   Like  I  say,  I  can't 
remember.   I'm  very  poor  at  doing  this.   An  organized 
system  of  selling  I  don't  have. 

So  then  there  would  be  some  private  customers  who  say, 
you  know,  "Send  me  anything  you  print."   A  standing 
order.   But  the  trouble  with  a  standing  order  is  I  never 
remember.   Again,  I  don't  have  an  organized  system  for 
standing  orders.   Then,  on  the  other  hand,  you  send  sombody 
something  on  a  standing  order  and  they  say,  "Gee,  why  did 
you  send  me  this?   I  don't  want  this!"   So  I  just  sort  of 


197 


forget  about  standing  orders  and  let  the  book  collector 
work  it  out  for  himself. 

Then  I  think  book  dealers  buy  from  me.   Lorson's 
[Books  and  Prints]--  There  are  a  few  of  them  around,  but  it 
would  generally  be  Dawson's  and  Lorson's.   Sometimes  up  in 
Sacramento  Barry  Cassidy  buys  from  me.   And  again,  it's  a 
matter  of  getting  out  there  and  finding  people  like  Barry 
Cassidy  who  are  interested  in  them.   Then  there  is  the 
Califia  Bookstore.   She  sometimes  will  sell  books  of  mine, 
but  she  is  interested  in  more  artier  books  generally  than  I 
do. 

ZEIGLER:   Where's  that? 
GERRY:   Edwina  Leggett  in  San  Francisco. 

I  would  say  infrequently  I ' 11  get  a  call  from  out  of 
nowhere.   Somebody  called  me  from  New  York  about  the 
[Edward]  Ardizzone  book.   I  have  no  idea  how  they  even 
found  out  about  it.   It  was  a  library.   No,  I  think  it  was 
a  book  dealer.   You  wonder,  how  did  they  ever  hear  about 
it? 

ZEIGLER:   Well — 

GERRY:   Then  there  are  some  private  collectors.   John  Class 
collects  some  of  my  things. 

ZEIGLER:   Very  likely  one  of  those  private  collectors 
showed  his  collection  to  another  book  lover  and  said,  "Hey, 
I  like  this"  and  sent  an  order  to  you. 


198 


GERRY:   Could  be. 

ZEIGLER:   Do  you  think  that  the  small  fine  printers  have 
had  any  influence  on  the  style  of  the  large  conunercial 
printing  houses? 

GERRY:   I  think  they  probably  did  at  one  time.   I'm  not  so 
sure  now.   I  think  there  is  a  much  larger  separation 
between  a  modern  and  up-to-date  technical  print  job  and  the 
small  fine  printer  than  there  was  in  the  past.   Mainly 
because,  I  guess,  they  are  using  two  different 
technologies.   Whereas  before,  their  technologies  were  the 
same.   So  people  that  have  become  printers  now  are  less 
book  oriented  than  they  might  have  been  in  the  past,  or  at 
least  during  the  revival  period,  which  was  from  the  time  of 
William  Morris  until  now,  or  a  few  years  ago.   Nowadays  a 
person  tends  to  want  to  be  a  printer  to  print  color 
pictures  and  be  successful  like  any  other  business.   I 
don't  think  that's  any  great  revelation;  it's  probably 
always  been  that  way.   But  I  don't  see  printers  nowadays 
who  are  anything  other  than  commercial,  color  printers.   At 
least  out  here. 

ZEIGLER:   How  do  you  go  about  determining  what  to  charge 
for  a  book?   What  do  you  take  into  consideration? 
GERRY:   Ideally,  you  keep  a  chart  of  your  costs  and  your 
labor,  and  you  keep  time.   Ideally,  I'm  speaking.   You  have 
an  hourly  rate  which  you  charge,  and  you  add  up  all  your 


199 


expenses  and  you  take  your  hourly  rate .   And  when  you ' re 
all  done  with  the  book  and  you  say,  "This  is  what  it  costs 
to  make  it, "  then  you  double  the  price  and  add  the  markup 
on.   That's  the  way  I  understand  business  is  supposed  to 
work.   But  when  the  fine  printer  who  has  printed  up  this 
little  book  adds  up  his  costs  and  the  book  comes  out  to  be 
$95  apiece  and  it  looks  like  it's  worth  fifty  cents,  you 
have  got  to  make  some  kind  of  compromise  or  else  be  very 
hardheaded  about  it.   And  when  you  double  the  price,  then 
that's  almost  $200.   You  add  the  40  percent  on,  and  it's 
just  unbelievable.   I  think  the  small  printer  makes  a 
compromise. 

Largely  what  I  do,  many  times,  is  ask  Dawson--Glen  or 
Muir  [Dawson] --or  Jim  Lorson  even,  "What  do  you  think  we 
could  sell  this  book  for?"   It  isn't  a  matter  of  what  it 
costs;  it's  what  do  you  think  the  market  will  bear  for  this 
kind  of  a  book  that's  this  thick  and  has  this  many  pages. 
And  usually  they're  pretty  generous  about  it,  much  more  so 
than  I  would  be.   That  would  be  how  I  would  determine  it; 
that's  how  I  personally  determine  the  price.   It's  not  a 
very  businesslike  way.   I  do  the  book  the  way  I  want  to  do 
it.   I  have  a  general  idea  what  it  cost  and  get  somebody's 
idea  of  what  it  will  sell  for.   And  I'm  not  in  a  rush  to 
sell  the  books,  my  books.   I'm  not  in  a  rush  to  recover  my 
costs,  and  that's  to  my  advantage,  because  then  I  can  keep 


200 


my  book  list  a  fatter  list  than  only  just  having  one  book 
on  it.   I  like  to  be  able  to  put  out  a  catalog  now  and  then 
that  has  six,  seven,  ten  items  in  it.   So  it's  far  more 
just  playing  the  game  of  publisher  than  actually  being  one. 
ZEIGLER:   What  future  do  you  think  there  is  for  letterpress 
printing  with  the  technology  being  so  different  now?   Do 
you  think  there  will  be  people  still  continuing  to  do  it? 
GERRY:   I  think  it's  going  to  be  much  more  handwork,  and 
then  the  few  people  who  have  Linotypes  or  Monotypes  will 
have  to  give  them  up  because  nobody  will  know  how  to 
operate  them.   The  next  generation  will  not  know  how  to 
operate  them,  and  the  machinery  will--  Even  though  there 
are  lots  of  parts  and  people  with  the  skills  to  repair 
these  machines  around,  there  won't  be  for  too  long.   And 
the  matrices  will  wear  out.   Even  though  there  are  large 
stocks  of  matrices  held  by  major  dealers  around,  when 
nobody  wants  them  anymore,  they'll  be  junked,  turned  back 
into  brass  stock.   So  if  it  does  survive,  it  will  be  by 
hand  setting,  and  you  still  have  to  have  some  typefounders 
around. 

Now,  there's  quite  a  group  of  typefounders  that  has 
developed  over  that  last  twenty  years.   In  this  country  it 
is  the  American  Typefounders  Fellowship.   A  man  named 
Richard  Hopkins  and  a  man  named  Paul  [H.]  Duensing. 
Duensing  is  probably  the  foremost  amateur  typefounder  in 


201 


the  world. 

ZEIGLER:   And  he  designed  several  faces,  didn't  he? 
GERRY:   Yes.   So  I  don't  know  quite  how  it  will  work. 
That's  the  one  thing.   I  think  the  typesettiiig  machines 
will  be  gone  and  it  will  have  to  be  done  by  hand,  which  is 
okay.   But  most  of  the  printers  you  see  in  the  San 
Francisco  area  have  their  type  set  by  a  typesetting  house, 
Mackensie  and  Harris.   They  don't  set  their  type 
themselves.   So  what  are  they  going  to  do  when  Mackensie 
and  Harris,  now  saved  at  the  last  minute  by  Andrew  Hoyem 
from  bankruptcy--?  What's  going  to  happen  when  they  go  out 
of  business?   Well,  you  can't  really  set  large  books  by 
hand  now,  even  though  I  know  Andrew  Hoyem  does  some.   But 
it's  pretty  economically  crazy. 

My  other  scenario  for  what  will  happen  is  that  peopltt 
will  more  and  more  go  to  offset  lithography  and  do  more 
hand  lettering,  use  the  phototype  more  and  do  more  like--  1 
want  to  say  hand-drawn  books--that  is  what  I  woviUi  Mko  to 
see.   Or  phototypeset  books  that  are  decorated  by  hand. 
Maybe  a  little  more  direct  lithography,  where  they  draw 
directly  on  the  plates,  instead  of  photo  lithography. 

And  as  far  as  binding  goes,  I  see  it  jvist  going  along 
right  like  this.   They  may  come  up  soon  with  some  new  and 
less  expensive  way  to  bind  a  book,  but  I  think  there  will 
still  always  be  people  who  like  to  sell  and  do  craftwork 


202 


the  world. 

ZEIGLER:   And  he  designed  several  faces,  didn't  he? 
GERRY:   Yes.   So  I  don't  know  quite  how  it  will  work. 
That's  the  one  thing.   I  think  the  typesetting  machines 
will  be  gone  and  it  will  have  to  be  done  by  hand,  which  is 
okay.   But  most  of  the  printers  you  see  in  the  San 
Francisco  area  have  their  type  set  by  a  typesetting  house, 
Mackensie  and  Harris.   They  don't  set  their  type 
themselves.   So  what  are  they  going  to  do  when  Mackensie 
and  Harris,  now  saved  at  the  last  minute  by  Andrew  Hoyem 
from  bankruptcy--?  What's  going  to  happen  when  they  go  out 
of  business?   Well,  you  can't  really  set  large  books  by 
hand  now,  even  though  I  know  Andrew  Hoyem  does  some.   But 
it's  pretty  economically  crazy. 

My  other  scenario  for  what  will  happen  is  that  people 
will  more  and  more  go  to  offset  lithography  and  do  more 
hand  lettering,  use  the  phototype  more  and  do  more  like--  I 
want  to  say  hand-drawn  books- -that  is  what  I  would  like  to 
see.   Or  phototypeset  books  that  are  decorated  by  hand. 
Maybe  a  little  more  direct  lithography,  where  they  draw 
directly  on  the  plates,  instead  of  photo  lithography. 

And  as  far  as  binding  goes,  I  see  it  just  going  along 
right  like  this.   They  may  come  up  soon  with  some  new  and 
less  expensive  way  to  bind  a  book,  but  I  think  there  will 
still  always  be  people  who  like  to  sell  and  do  craftwork 


202 


with  books  that  will  be  binding. 

ZEIGLER:   Yeah,  and  it's  very  satisfying  to  make  it 
yourself  that  way. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   And  I  think  printers  like  to  do — some 
printers--their  own  binding.   I  know  I  did. 
ZEIGLER:   You  mentioned  that  there  would  be  maybe  more 
hand-drawn,  hand- lettered,  and  photo-offset  books.   Do  you 
think  there  is  a  revival  of  interesting  calligraphy? 
GERRY:   Oh,  I  think  there  has  been.   That  would  be  nice  to 
have.   Where  did  I  see  a  very  handsomely  hand- lettered  book 
recently?   It  might  have  been  done  by  Warren  Chappell,  and 
it  was  beautiful.   There  is  that.   There  is  calligraphy, 
almost  like  a  manuscript,  that  could  be  done.   I  see  that 
as  a  possibility  for  doing  it  for  lithography.   And  then 
also,  like  I  said  before,  I'm  waiting  for  this  innovative 
person.   This  new  Bruce  Rogers  who  is  going  to  come  along 
and  exploit  the  technology  in  some  way  that  we  haven't 
thought  of  that  will  really  be  an  eye-opener,  like  [William 
A.]  Dwiggins  and  Rogers  did  in  the  early  part  of  the 
century.   And  most  trade  books  are  really  awful  looking 
nowadays.   Somebody,  somewhere  should  be  coming  along  to 
make  them  look  good. 

ZEIGLER:  Get  the  idea  that  they  don't  have  to  look  awful. 
GERRY:  It's  the  same  old  argument  that  has  been  going  on, 
off  and  on.   I  think  once  you  get  letterpress  way  under  the 


203 


^ 


boar: 

me'^ 

becoi 

thinlf 

«h: 

alcr.: 

you  : 

lette 

buy 

niysel 

ZEIGI 

typef 

that' 

stii 

have 

GERRY 

very 

ZEIGl 

drawi 

a  pap 

Crana 

Gerna 

could 

and  t 

wood- 


^ 


boards  and  beyond  it  and  the  remnants  of  what ' s  left  of 
metal  type  and  the  printing  machinery  has  disappeared, 
because  nobody  will  know  what  it  is  after  a  while,  then  I 
think  we  will  be  free  to  adopt  the  going  technology, 
whatever  it  may  be.   There  is  always  some  new  thing  coming 
along.   But  offset  lithography  I  think  is  the  one.   I  mean, 
you  can  buy  an  offset  press  as  cheap  as  you  can  buy  a 
letterpress,  an  old,  used  letterpress.   I'm  sure  you  can 
buy  an  old,  used  offset  press  cheap.   I've  almost  talked 
myself  into  it. 

ZEIGLER:   Hermann  Zapf  has  been  working  on  designing  good 
typefaces  for  computer  printouts,  hasn't  he?   So  I  guess 
that's  one  direction  that  you  could  go.   Computer  printing 
still  looks  pretty  bad,  but  it  doesn't  have  to.   You  can 
have  a  well -printed- - 

GERRY:   Right,  it  doesn't  have  to.   They  have  some  nice, 
very  nice,  excellent  photo  types. 

ZEIGLER:   I  was  sort  of  interested  in  this  idea  of  hand- 
drawing  and  then  reproducing  it,  because  I've  been  writing 
a  paper  myself  on  the  lettering  that  Eric  Gill  did  for  the 
Cranach  Press  and  Weimar  and  also  for  Insel-Verlag  in 
Germany.   And  there,  I  think,  the  best  technology  they 
could  do  back  then  was  that  Eric  Gill  drew  these  letters 
and  then  they  cut  them  into  wood,  and  so  they  were  really 
wood-engraved  letters.   Anyway,  let's  see,  where  do  we  want 


204 


boards  and  beyond  it  and  the  remnants  of  what's  left  of 
metal  type  and  the  printing  machinery  has  disappeared, 
because  nobody  will  know  what  it  is  after  a  while,  then  I 
think  we  will  be  free  to  adopt  the  going  technology, 
whatever  it  may  be.   There  is  always  some  new  thing  coming 
along.   But  offset  lithography  I  think  is  the  one.   I  mean, 
you  can  buy  an  offset  press  as  cheap  as  you  can  buy  a 
letterpress,  an  old,  used  letterpress.   I'm  sure  you  can 
buy  an  old,  used  offset  press  cheap.   I've  almost  talked 
myself  into  it. 

ZEIGLER:   Hermann  Zapf  has  been  working  on  designing  good 
typefaces  for  computer  printouts,  hasn't  he?   So  I  guess 
that's  one  direction  that  you  could  go.   Computer  printing 
still  looks  pretty  bad,  but  it  doesn't  have  to.   You  can 
have  a  well-printed-- 

GERRY:   Right,  it  doesn't  have  to.   They  have  some  nice, 
very  nice,  excellent  photo  types. 

ZEIGLER:   I  was  sort  of  interested  in  this  idea  of  hand- 
drawing  and  then  reproducing  it,  because  I've  been  writing 
a  paper  myself  on  the  lettering  that  Eric  Gill  did  for  the 
Cranach  Press  and  Weimar  and  also  for  Insel-Verlag  in 
Germany.   And  there,  I  think,  the  best  technology  they 
could  do  back  then  was  that  Eric  Gill  drew  these  letters 
and  then  they  cut  them  into  wood,  and  so  they  were  really 
wood-engraved  letters.   Anyway,  let's  see,  where  do  we  want 


204 


^ 


Btj!  tjpt  ■ 
jiecasse  aowc 

ijtewr  It  ■ 

aloog.  iKt  M 
yncB  b^r  ■ 

l»raB0li.  a 

lyself  irrr  .. 

lUGUB:    iKM 

typefaoet  fcr  a 

diat's  OK  i^-a 

still  looks  ;ia 

SS!:   l-j- 

^5ia:   :  ... 


=it!*, 


^^ 


I 


i 

boards  and  beyond  it  ai  the  remnants  of  what's  left  of 
metal  type  and  the  prir ing  machinery  has  disappeared, 
because  nobody  will  knc  what  it  is  after  a  while,  then  I 
think  we  will  be  free  t  adopt  the  going  technology, 
whatever  it  may  be.   Thre  is  always  some  new  thing  coming 
along.   But  offset  lith  jraphy  I  think  is  the  one.   I  mean, 
you  can  buy  an  offset  p.;ss  as  cheap  as  you  can  buy  a 
letterpress,  an  old,  usf  letterpress.   I'm  sure  you  can 
buy  an  old,  used  offset  ress  cheap.   I've  almost  talked 
myself  into  it.         j 

ZEIGLER:   Hermann  Zapf  hs  been  working  on  designing  good 
typefaces  for  computer  pintouts,  hasn't  he?   So  I  guess 
that's  one  direction  tha  you  could  go.   Computer  printing 
still  looks  pretty  bad,  ..t  it  doesn't  have  to.   You  can 
have  a  well-printed-- 

GERRY:   Right,  it  doesn't  have  to.   They  have  ?;orrif:  riir.d, 
very  nice,  excellent  phot  types. 

ZEIGLER:   I  was  scr-  cf  i  terested  in  this  idea  of  hntift 
drawing  and  then  reprcc-c.g  it,  because  I've  b<j*jf)  v/aIMmo 
a  paper  myself  on  tne  le-  -.ring  that  Eric  Gill  6i<^    f<ii    "ii* 
Cranach  Press  and  Weiaar   d  also  for  Insel-'A;/ J 'i'/  in 
Germany.   And  there,  I  tii^k,  the  best  technology  ^  hmy 
could  do  back  then  was  the  Eric  Gill  drew  \  'i 

and  then  they  cut  them  i| 
wood-engraved  letter^ 


to  go  from  here?   I  had  a  few  odds  and  ends  of  questions 

that  sort  of  didn't  get  asked  in  the  appropriate  place. 

GERRY:   Oh,  sure. 

ZEIGLER:   Who  has  worked  with  you  in  your  printing 

activities?   Have  you  had  some  other  person  or  persons 

helping  you? 

GERRY:   My  wife  [Mary  Palmer  Gerry]  used  to  sew  sometimes, 

sew  booklets,  but  she  is  not  really  very  interested  in 

it.   Other  than  that  I  haven't  really  had  anybody. 


205 


enough,  but  the  sewing  machine  made  a  really  big 
difference,  because  you  could  sew  through  the  spine  of  the 
signatures  with  this  machine.   I  don't  want  to  say  quite 
rapidly,  but  certainly  faster  than  you  could  do  it  by  hand. 
ZIEGLER:   Excuse  my  ignorance.   This  is  a  special  sewing 
machine  for  bookbinding? 

GERRY:   Yes,  it's  called  a  Smythe  sewing  machine. 
ZIEGLER:   You  can't  do  it  on  a  regular  sewing  machine? 
GERRY:   No,  it  has  a  whole  row  of  needles  and  loopers  in  it 
that  push  the  needle  through  the  spine  of  the  signature  and 
the  loopers  pick  it  up  and  the  hook  needles  pull  it  through 
back  out  and  it  keeps  going.   You  just  sew  all  the  books 
together  in  one  long  row  and  then  later  on  cut  them  apart 
into  individual  books.   Then  a  standing  press  had  all  the 
boards  with  ridges  on  it  that  you  put  in  the  grooves  of  the 
spine.   You  know  what  I  mean?   The  long  way,  where  the 
spine  separates  from  the  cover  boards.   These  edged 
boards.   You  lay  the  books- -like,  say,  four  books- -with 
their  spines  on  these  brass  edges  that  are  raised  like  a 
sixteenth  of  an  inch.   Then  on  top  of  that  you  put  another 
edged  board,  and  then  you  lay  four  books  on  top  of  that. 
You  put  another  edged  board  on  top  of  that.   You  are  doing 
this  one  at  a  time,  though.   I  mean,  you  can  only  glue  one 
book  at  a  time.   You  can't  glue  four.   You  put  the  books 
together  one  at  a  time. 


207 


would  if  you  just  tossed  them  on  a  table.   Anyway,  it's  a 
finished  book  that  comes  out  of  there.   So  that's  when  I 
was  doing —  I  got  to  that  point  where  I  was  doing  generally 
pretty  much  edition  binding.   Whenever  I  could  afford  it,  I 
would  usually  have  somebody  else  do  it.   I  would  have 
another  binder  do  it,  a  commercial  binder. 
ZIEGLER:   Where  do  you  buy  this  binding  equipment? 
GERRY:   This  equipment?   I  got  the  sewing  machine  and  the 
standing  press  from  the  Self -Realization  Fellowship.   They 
had  expanded  their  press  that  was  on  Mount  Washington--then 
in  Highland  Park--so  much  that  they  were  doing  so  many 
volumes  that  they  could  no  longer--  They  were  producing  so 
much  work  that  they  could  no  longer  do  it  themselves.   They 
had  to  send  the  binding  out.   The  equipment  I  bought  from 
them  was  not  enough  for  them,  but  it  was  enough  for  me. 
That's  how  I  bought  that.   There's  a  company  called  Gayne 
Brothers  and  Lane  who  specialize  in  selling  binding 
machinery  and  binding  supplies  here  in  Los  Angeles. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  could  we  move  on  now  and  talk  about  some  of 
your  activities  as  an  artist?   Do  you  remember  being 
interested  in  art  as  a  child  and  how  you  first  started 
thinking  you  wanted  to  be  an  artist? 

GERRY:   I  think  it  was  probably  the  only  thing  I  ever  did 
in  class  that  the  teacher  liked.   I  was  sort  of  a  poor 
student.   My  grandmother  [Lula  Baxter  White]  had  done  a 


209 


little  oil  painting  and  she  encouraged  me,  although  she 
said,  "You  should  never  be  an  artist  because  artists  are 
always  poor."   She  wanted  me  to  be  successful.   Yes,  I 
think  so.   I  think  when  I  got  out  of  high  school  I  was 
unqualified  for  any  college.   So  the  registrar  said,  "What 
are  you  going  to  do?"   I  said,  "I  don't  know."   I  guess  I 
was  about  eighteen.   She  said,  "What  are  you  interested 
in?"   I  said,  "Art."   She  said,  "Here's  this  school  over 
here  in  L.A.   You  can  go  to  them  and  you  could  study  art 
there  if  you  want  to  be  a  commercial  artist."   So  I  went  to 
Woodbury  [College].   I  think  we've  gone  through  this 
before.   Then  after  Woodbury  I  went  to  Art  Center 
[School] .   And  then  after  I  was  in  the  army  I  went  to 
Chouinard  [Art  Institute]  and  ended  up  at  Disney.   Been 
there  ever  since,  off  and  on,  for  more  than  thirty  years. 
ZEIGLER:   I  wonder  if  you  could  comment  on  the  different 
art  media  that  you  work  in.   I've  seen  samples  of  your  pen 
and  ink  and  your  watercolors  and  pochoir  and  linoleum  cuts 
and  woodcuts--are  there  any  that  I've  left  out? 
GERRY:   No,  I  think  that's  them.   I  think  I  feel  more 
comfortable  with  a  linoleum  cut  than  a  wood  engraving. 
This  book  that  I  am  going  to  do.  Seashore  Plants  of 
Southern  California--tentative  title--I'm  going  to  do  in 
linoleum  cuts.   Pen  and  ink  drawing,  I  guess  it  would  be 
sort  of  in  the  style  of  [Edward]  Ardizzone.   I've  probably 


210 


been  influenced  by  him,  cross-hatching  and  so  on.   The 
pochoir  just  kind  of  grew.   I  think  after  I  had  seen  the 
book  Elsie  and  the  Child  that  was  published  by  Cassell  and 
Company  [Ltd.]  in  England  and  was  stenciled  and  finally 
printed  by  the  Curwen  Press,  I  think  that's  when  I  thought 
I  should  try  that  on  one  of  my  books. 

ZIEGLER:   And  you've  gotten  some  great  results  with  it  in 
the  M.  F.  K.  Fisher,  The  Standing  and  the  Waiting,  for 
instance. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  that  was  the  one  I  ultimately  did.   It  didn't 
turn  out  like  I  wanted  it  to,  but  it  didn't  turn  out  too 
bad.   I  mean,  it's  acceptable.   I  guess  what  I  dreamed  in 
my  mind  was  something  quite  a  bit  different  than  what  I 
turned  out.   Let's  see,  and  I  do  watercolors.   I  try  to  do 
watercolors.   Oil  painting  I  don't  do.   Sometimes  I  use 
pastels  in  studio  work,  but  most  often  in  my  studio  work  I 
use  a  china  marker  and  watercolors.   That's  very  quick. 
ZIEGLER:   What's  a  china  marker? 

GERRY:   It's  so  you  can  mark  the  price  on  a  piece  of 
china.   It's  a  grease  pencil,  very  greasy.   But  it's  very 
clean.   It's  much  cleaner  than  a  charcoal  pencil.   And  when 
you  paint  watercolor  over  it,  it  resists  the  watercolor, 
and  it  won't  run  or  smudge  like  charcoal. 

ZIEGLER:   I  wanted  to  ask  you,  pochoir  is  very  painstaking 
in  the  sense  that  you  have  to  do  each  one  individually. 


211 


isn't  it?   And  for  illustrating  a  book  it's  the  same  thing 
as  etching:   each  copy  has  to  be  done  separately. 
GERRY:   It's  like  binding;  it's  very  monotonous. 
ZIEGLER:   Also,  probably  no  two  copies  are  exactly 
identical  because  you ' re  not  going  to  be  brushing  exactly 
the  same  amount  of  paint  on  the  stencil  in  each  one. 
GERRY:   Right,  and  as  you  go,  the  more  bored  you  get,  the 
more  innovative  you  get  on  how  you  can  treat  this  simple 
stencil.   You  know,  you  might  want  to  soften  one  edge  or 
stipple  it  with  a  brush  or  paint  it  a  different  direction 
or  put  a  texture  into  it.   These  things  come  to  you  as 
you're  doing  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Could  you  describe  the  process  for  the  tape? 
GERRY:   I'll  describe  the  way  I  do  it.   You  work  out  of 
your  drawing  with  the  idea  that  it's  going  to  be  in  how 
many  colors.   The  more  colors,  the  more  work  for  you;  the 
more  colors,  the  more  your  reader  is  going  to  like  it.   And 
you  can  trick  things  by  transparencies.   You  can  set  three 
colors  out  of  two.   So  you  can  let  that  play  in  your  mind. 
ZIEGLER:   By  transparencies,  in  this  case,  you  mean 
brushing  a  wash  of  one  color  across  what  you've  already  put 
down. 

GERRY:   Right.   This  is  going  to  be  a  transparent 
watercolor,  or  a  semi-transparent  anyway.   Enough  so  you 
can't  do  it  with  opaque  watercolors.   But  watercolor  seems 


212 


> 

isn'l 

asei 

GERRl 

ZIEG 

idenl 

thei 

GERR5 

more 

stenc 

stipf 

or  pi 

you 'I 

ZIEGI 

GERR^ 

your 

iiar;y 

more 

■ 

you  ■ 

1 

coici 

- 

ZIEGI 

11 

br^c'- 

1 

dO'.Ti. 

5 

1 

GERpv 

1: 

«at,. 

•J! 
) 

Co- 

\ 


isn't  it?   And  for  illustrating  a  book  it's  the  same  thing 
as  etching:   each  copy  has  to  be  done  separately. 
GERRY:   It's  like  binding;  it's  very  monotonous. 
ZIEGLER:   Also,  probably  no  two  copies  are  exactly 
identical  because  you ' re  not  going  to  be  brushing  exactly 
the  same  amount  of  paint  on  the  stencil  in  each  one. 
GERRY:   Right,  and  as  you  go,  the  more  bored  you  get,  the 
more  innovative  you  get  on  how  you  can  treat  this  simple 
stencil.   You  know,  you  might  want  to  soften  one  edge  or 
stipple  it  with  a  brush  or  paint  it  a  different  direction 
or  put  a  texture  into  it.   These  things  come  to  you  as 
you're  doing  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Could  you  describe  the  process  for  the  tape? 
GERRY:   I'll  describe  the  way  I  do  it.   You  work  out  of 
your  drawing  with  the  idea  that  it's  going  to  be  in  how 
many  colors.   The  more  colors,  the  more  work  for  you;  the 
more  colors,  the  more  your  reader  is  going  to  like  it.   And 
you  can  trick  things  by  transparencies .   You  can  set  three 
colors  out  of  two.   So  you  can  let  that  play  in  your  mind. 
ZIEGLER:   By  transparencies,  in  this  case,  you  mean 
brushing  a  wash  of  one  color  across  what  you've  already  put 
down. 

GERRY:   Right.   This  is  going  to  be  a  transparent 
watercolor,  or  a  semi-transparent  anyway.   Enough  so  you 
can't  do  it  with  opaque  watercolors.   But  watercolor  seems 


212 


to  be  the  best  thing.   Then  over  this  drawing  that  you 
figure  out  in  your  mind,  or  you  might  have  outlined  it  on 
the  drawing  in  different  color  pencils,  you  take  a  piece  of 
celluloid--  No,  not  celluloid.  Mylar.   Celluloid  probably 
doesn't  exist  anymore.   It's  about  three  thousandths  to 
five  thousandths  of  an  inch  thick.   You  can  cut  it  with  a 
knife,  but  it's  very  hard  with  an  X-acto  or  a  frisket  knife 
or  something  like  that.   I  use  what  they  call  a  stencil 
burner.   It's  like  the  little  woodburning  set  you  had  when 
you  were  a  kid,  and  it  burns  right  through  the  plastic.   As 
in  needlepoint,  you  can  just  follow  your  drawing,  which  is 
under  the  plastic,  and  cut  the  outline.   And  because  it's  a 
stencil  there  are  all  sorts  of  qualifications,  as  you  can 
imagine,  that  come  with  a  stencil.   You  can't  have  things 
existing  in  midair.   It's  got  to  be  tied  to  something  to 
keep  the  stencil.   The  more  complicated  the  stencil,  the 
harder  it  is  to  brush.   All  right,  so  you've  cut  your 
color.   And  now  you  make  some  sort  of  a  guide  so  that  the 
stencil  will  always  be  in  the  same  place  every  time  on 
every  sheet  of  paper,  and  that's  easier  than  it  sounds. 
The  most  difficult  thing  is  to  get  the  right  consistency  of 
color.   If  it's  too  wet,  it's  going  to  run  underneath  the 
stencil,  and  if  it's  too  dry  it  takes  forever  to  brush  it 
on.   But  I  would  much  prefer  it  to  be  on  the  drier  side. 
ZIEGLER:   Which  gives  it  sort  of  a  powdery,  grainy  look. 


213 


to  be  the  best  thing.   Then  over  this  drawing  that  you 
figure  out  in  your  mind,  or  you  might  have  outlined  it  on 
the  drawing  in  different  color  pencils,  you  take  a  piece  of 
celluloid--  No,  not  celluloid.  Mylar.   Celluloid  probably 
doesn't  exist  anymore.   It's  about  three  thousandths  to 
five  thousandths  of  an  inch  thick.   You  can  cut  it  with  a 
knife,  but  it's  very  hard  with  an  X-acto  or  a  frisket  knife 
or  something  like  that.   I  use  what  they  call  a  stencil 
burner.   It's  like  the  little  woodburning  set  you  had  when 
you  were  a  kid,  and  it  burns  right  through  the  plastic.   As 
in  needlepoint,  you  can  just  follow  your  drawing,  which  is 
under  the  plastic,  and  cut  the  outline.   And  because  it's  a 
stencil  there  are  all  sorts  of  qualifications,  as  you  can 
imagine,  that  come  with  a  stencil.   You  can't  have  things 
existing  in  midair.   It's  got  to  be  tied  to  something  to 
keep  the  stencil.   The  more  complicated  the  stencil,  the 
harder  it  is  to  brush.   All  right,  so  you've  cut  your 
color.   And  now  you  make  some  sort  of  a  guide  so  that  the 
stencil  will  always  be  in  the  same  place  every  time  on 
every  sheet  of  paper,  and  that's  easier  than  it  sounds. 
The  most  difficult  thing  is  to  get  the  right  consistency  of 
color.   If  it's  too  wet,  it's  going  to  run  underneath  the 
stencil,  and  if  it's  too  dry  it  takes  forever  to  brush  it 
on.   But  I  would  much  prefer  it  to  be  on  the  drier  side. 
ZIEGLER:   Which  gives  it  sort  of  a  powdery,  grainy  look. 


213 


which  is  often  very  nice  for  the  effect  you  want  in  the 
picture. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   So  then  you  start  doing  your  addition.   You 
just  do  it  sheet  by  sheet.   A  lot  of  times  things  will 
occur  to  you  that  didn't  occur  to  you  until  you  actually 
start  stenciling  it.   Then  [when]  the  sheets  dry,  you  cut 
the  second  color  and  you  repeat  the  process  with  a  stencil 
brush  on  a  plate.   You  work  the  paint  out  and  keep  the 
brush  dry.   You  might  keep  two  brushes  so  if  one  is  too 
wet,  you  can  rub  the  brushes  together.   That's  what  I  do. 
Then  you  use  the  drier  of  the  two.   And  you  run  through 
your  addition  that  way.   Now,  this  can  be  done  over  an 
existing  printed  drawing  or  like  in  the  case  of  the  M.  F. 
K.  Fisher  book  I  did,  there  was  no  printed  key  drawing.   I 
just  did  it  all  with  stencils,  which  is  fine. 
ZIEGLER: :   How  did  you  first  discover  pochoir? 
GERRY:   Oh,  probably  in  some  example  books  where  Curwen 
Press  examples  were  shown.   And,  like  I  say,  I  got  this 
copy  of  Elsie  and  the  Child  by  Arnold  Bennett  and  I  could 
see--  I  mean,  I  could  see  that  it  was  a  beautiful  thing, 
but  I  also  could  see  that  it  was  a  thing  you  could  do 
yourself.   I  mean,  after  all,  I  had  some  kind  of  artistic 
ability  and  I  had  been  trained  as  a  kind  of  an  artist,  so 
it  was  a  possibility.   And  here  it  was  combined  with 
print.   So  naturally  it  would  appeal  to  me.   Then  I  think  I 


214 


:r.cws  cut  here   which  ;  dicn 'r  cet  tc ,  but  I  cct  their 
:3talccs  and  it  talked  aircut  ccchcjir.   Aiid  then  I  lcs:;xed  up 
?c-e  thir.cs  Jurver.  had  written  about  stenciling  at  the 
"ur-wen.   He  wrcte  an  article  scr.ewhere  called  'Stencilinc 


unsuooess fully  quite  a  bit  cf  the  tiT.e,   Usually  the  brush 

was  t  CO  wet  c  r  t  n  e  c  e  s  i  c  n  w  a  s  n  t  w  c  r  .<  e  c  cut  v  e  r%'  we  —  —.   5  %" 
the  ti~e  1  get  tc  Mrs.  Fisher's  beck.  I  had  dene  a  ccuple 
of  things  net  tco  well.   But  I  started  cut  en  her  book  and 
Just  kept  cemc.   I  really  learned  ~est  ef  ever^'thmc  I 
knew  about  it  frer.  her  book.   If  I  de  ene  fcr  a  Lawrence 
Clark  rcwell,  for  his  The  Blue  Train,  he  wants  ~e  tc  de 
stencil  illustrations,  se  I  wculd  de  that  again,  prcbably 
simpler  with  the  printed  key.   Net  that  a  printed  key  is  at 
all  necessary.   i  did  sc~e  stenciling  designs  and  cut  the 
stencils  fcr  John  Handle's  Matrix  ~aga:ine. 
ZIEGLER:   Oh,  yeah.   I  saw  an  article  en  that. 
GERRY:   He  wanted  tc  dc  this  and  have  a  little  article  on 
stenciling  and  also  seme  examples.   I  said  he  was  crazy, 
because  he  wanted  tc  do  nine  hundred  cepies.   Frebably  a 
thousand . 

ZIEGLER:   I  think  he  talks  in  there  about  what  a  time- 
consuming  process  it  was  to  stencil  each  copy. 
GERRY:   Oh.  right.   I  said,  "I'm  not  sure  you  really  want 


saw  some  French  examples.   Then  there  were  a  couple  of 
shows  out  here,  which  I  didn't  get  to,  but  I  got  their 
catalogs  and  it  talked  about  pochoir.   And  then  I  looked  up 
some  things  Curwen  had  written  about  stenciling  at  the 
Curwen.   He  wrote  an  article  somewhere  called  "Stenciling 
at  the  Curwen  Press."   Then  I  tried  to  do  it,  and 
unsuccessfully  quite  a  bit  of  the  time.   Usually  the  brush 
was  too  wet  or  the  design  wasn't  worked  out  very  well.   By 
the  time  I  got  to  Mrs.  Fisher's  book,  I  had  done  a  couple 
of  things  not  too  well.   But  I  started  out  on  her  book  and 
just  kept  going.   I  really  learned  most  of  everything  I 
know  about  it  from  her  book.   If  I  do  one  for  a  Lawrence 
Clark  Powell,  for  his  The  Blue  Train,  he  wants  me  to  do 
stencil  illustrations,  so  I  would  do  that  again,  probably 
simpler  with  the  printed  key.   Not  that  a  printed  key  is  at 
all  necessary.   I  did  some  stenciling  designs  and  cut  the 
stencils  for  John  Handle's  Matrix  magazine. 
ZIEGLER:   Oh,  yeah.   I  saw  an  article  on  that. 
GERRY:   He  wanted  to  do  this  and  have  a  little  article  on 
stenciling  and  also  some  examples.   I  said  he  was  crazy, 
because  he  wanted  to  do  nine  hundred  copies .   Probably  a 
thousand. 

ZIEGLER:   I  think  he  talks  in  there  about  what  a  time- 
consuming  process  it  was  to  stencil  each  copy. 
GERRY:   Oh,  right.   I  said,  "I'm  not  sure  you  really  want 


215 


of  sloppy  printers.   But  those  German  woodcuts,  the  ones  I 

think  you're  ti  .king  about,  were  fairly  light.   They  were 

not  a  lot  of  S'.ids.   They  were  mostly  a  lot  of  line 

work.   Yeah,  1  ae  work  instead  and  lots  of  open  spaces 

rather  than  sold  black. 

ZIEGLER:   Have /ou  done  art  in  other  contexts  besides  your 

books  that  you  /e  printed  and  your  work  at  Disney?   Have 

you  displayed  3  an  artist  at  galleries? 

GERRY:   No,  nc  really.   I'm  still  working  up  a  painting 

that  I  can  tak  to  a  gallery.   I  had  shows  done  with  some 

of  the  other  f Hows  at  the  studio.   You  would  have  a 

little  watercc  or  show  in  the  library  or  something,  but 

never  professd  nally. 

ZIEGLER:   Whei  have  some  of  those  shows  been? 

GERRY:   At  th«  Disney  Studio  in  one  of  the  large  rooms  like 

this  room,  a  i  eting  room.   We  might  have  put  some  up  in 

there,  just  ui  )f f icial  stuff.   I  did  have  some  for  sale  at 

Jim  [James  E.  Lorson's  for  a  while,  but  I  only  sold  one. 

I  took  the  ot  irs  back,  and  Jim  has  not  been  pounding  on  my 

door  to  get  m  to  send  more. 

ZIEGLER:   So  jur  favorite  art  medium  is  watercolor  when 

you're  not  do  \g   something  to  include  in  a  book,  when  it's 

just  a  single  ;opy. 

GERRY:   I  was  /ery  much  influenced  as  a  young  guy--  And 

then  later  on  vhen  I  went  to  the  studio,  I  worked  with 


218 


of  sloppy  printers.   But  those  German  woodcuts,  the  ones  I 

think  you're  talking  about,  were  fairly  light.   They  were 

not  a  lot  of  solids.   They  were  mostly  a  lot  of  line 

work.   Yeah,  line  work  instead  and  lots  of  open  spaces 

rather  than  solid  black. 

ZIEGLER:   Have  you  done  art  in  other  contexts  besides  your 

books  that  you've  printed  and  your  work  at  Disney?   Have 

you  displayed  as  an  artist  at  galleries? 

GERRY:   No,  not  really.   I'm  still  working  up  a  painting 

that  I  can  take  to  a  gallery.   I  had  shows  done  with  some 

of  the  other  fellows  at  the  studio.   You  would  have  a 

little  watercolor  show  in  the  library  or  something,  but 

never  professionally. 

ZIEGLER:   Where  have  some  of  those  shows  been? 

GERRY:   At  the  Disney  Studio  in  one  of  the  large  rooms  like 

this  room,  a  meeting  room.   We  might  have  put  some  up  in 

there,  just  unofficial  stuff.   I  did  have  some  for  sale  at 

Jim  [James  E.]  Lorson's  for  a  while,  but  I  only  sold  one. 

I  took  the  others  back,  and  Jim  has  not  been  pounding  on  my 

door  to  get  me  to  send  more. 

ZIEGLER:   So  your  favorite  art  medium  is  watercolor  when 

you're  not  doing  something  to  include  in  a  book,  when  it's 

just  a  single  copy. 

GERRY:   I  was  very  much  influenced  as  a  young  guy--  And 

then  later  on  when  I  went  to  the  studio,  I  worked  with 


218 


these  California  watercolorists.   Most  of  the  background 
painters  who  worked  in  the  studios  in  those  days  were  the 
California  watercolorists. 
ZIEGLER:   Who  were  some  of  them? 

GERRY:   Well,  there  was  Art  Riley,  there  was  Ralph  Hulett, 
Claude  Coats,  Preston  Blair,  Herb  Ryman,  Ken  Anderson.   So 
not  only  had  I  seen  these  when  I  was  a  kid,  the  great 
California  watercolor  style,  but —  Emil  Kosa  and  Rex 
Brandt--  Oh,  another  one  at  Disney,  although  I  didn't  know 
him,  was--  Darn  it!   I  can't  remember  these  people's 
names.   Phil  Dike.   A  great  California  watercolorist.   So  I 
think  that  not  only  did  I  love  them  before,  but  when  I  got 
to  know  some  of  the  guys  I  loved  them  even  more.   Although, 
at  the  time  I  knew  them,  I  wasn't  doing  any  watercolor. 
It's  only  like  in  the  last  ten  or  fifteen  years  I  have 
thought  about  seriously  trying  to  do  something. 
ZIEGLER:   Could  you  tell  me  a  little  bit  more  about  the 
school  of  California  watercolorists?   I  don't  know  much 
about  them. 

GERRY:   Well,  it ' s  a  style  of  painting  that  sort  of 
developed  around  Los  Angeles,  where  things  were  very 
direct.   You  might  even  say  tricky.   The  techniques  were 
very  sophisticated  in  that  they  were  very  direct,  in  that 
nobody  niggled  around  with  little  brushstrokes.   They  were 
all  big  brushstrokes,  and  they  were  all  done  with  one  or 


219 


all,  if  it  costs  you  $1.50  a  sheet  for  Arches  watercolor 

paper  and  you  cut  it  four  ways,  that's  not  much  per  sheet, 

is  it?   You  cut  it  eight  ways,  it's  really  cheap. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:  And  you  can  use  student  colors  and  student  brushes, 

and  then  when  you  feel  like  you're  really  good,  you  can  buy 

a  Windsor  Newton  for  $300,  a  Windsor  Newton  brush.   Or  $200 

or  $100,  depending  on  what  size.   And  Windsor  Newton 

colors. 

ZIEGLER:   They're  the  best. 

GERRY:   That's  what  they  say.   [laughter]   I  learned 

watercolor ing  mostly  by  myself,  or  looking  at  other 

watercolors.   I  took  it  at  school,  but  I  don't  think  I  ever 

even  showed  the  teacher.  Rex  Brandt,  one  of  my  paintings. 

They  were  so  bad. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah.   Well,  it  probably  is  something  that  you 

learn  just  by  trying  over  and  over  again.   Could  you  talk 

some  about  artists  you  admire?  Artists  or  styles  or 

periods  that  you  admire. 

GERRY:   Well,  I  guess  in  general -- 

ZIEGLER:   I  certainly  know  that  in  your  incarnation  as 

Bunston  Quayles  you  are  familiar  with  art  history. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  well,  I  do  like--  I  guess  I  like  the  modern 

art  period.   I  mean,  those  are  the  ones  I  like.   The 

cubists  and  everybody  that  was  influenced  by  cubism.   So 


222 


that  is  sort  of  the  period  that  I  always  fall  back  on  as 
far  as  my  interests  go.   I  don't  go —  I  certainly  admire 
paintings  before  the  twentieth  century,  but  I  don't  get  all 
excited  about  them.   I'm  mostly  a  twentieth-century 
painter.   Or  the  ones  that  influenced  me.   So  who  is 
that?   Picasso,  Matisse.   And  then  I  like  the  surrealist 
[Giorgio  de]  Chirico.   And  the  Belgian  [Rene]  Magritte 
and--  Oh,  [Balthasar]  Balthus  is  another  one  I  like  a 
lot.   Now,  as  far  as  the  more  commercial  artists  that  I 
admire--  Edward  Bawden  of  England.   I  mean,  a  great 
watercolorist,  but  he  also  did  a  lot  of  work  for  the  Curwen 
Press  and  a  lot  of  more  commercial  drawings  for  commercial 
advertising  that  I  think  were  really  knockouts.   Oh,  he  did 
a  lot  of  drawings  for  illustration  also.   And  also  Eric 
Ravilious  was  my  favorite  wood  engraver,  followed  by  his 
student,  John  O'Connor. 
ZIEGLER:   Who  was  his  student? 

GERRY:   John  O'Connor.   In  his  early  days  he  was  my 
favorite  wood  engraver.   David  Jones  is  another  one  who  I 
can't  help  but  be  impressed  by  as  an  illustrator  and  as  a 
wood  engraver.   And  then  Gus  [Gustave]  Bofa,  a  French 
artist.   Charles  Laborde,  another  French  illustrator  I'm 
much  impressed  with.   And  Ardizzone,  Edward  Ardizzone,  the 
English  illustrator.   And  McKnight  Kauffer,  who  did  Elsie 
and  the  Child,  made  the  drawings  from  which  they  made  the 


223 


stencils.   And  then  the  American  illustrators  would  be 
Gilbert  Bundy  and  Carl  Erickson.   In  the  kids'  book 
illustrations,  [Feodor]  Rojankovsky.   And  Gus  [Gustaf] 
Tenggren,  who  did  work  at  the  Disney  Studios  before  my 
time.   And  maybe  Floyd  Davis,  too,  I  think,  as  a  magazine 
illustrator. 

And  in  the  fifties,  of  course,  I  was  terribly 
impressed  by  all  the  glamorous  magazine  illustrators.   But 
I  have  since  lost  interest. 
ZIEGLER:   Who  were  some  of  those? 

GERRY:   Oh,  no,  I  want  to  mention  one  other  artist  who 
worked  in  printing  and  the  book  world,  Barnett  Freedman. 
He  was  another  one,  a  contemporary  of  Bawden  and  Ravilious, 
who  did  some  really  swell  drawings  for  printing.   He  didn't 
do  engravings;  he  always  did  lithographs.   Now,  some  of  the 
fifties  illustrators  that  I  used  to  think  were  the  cat's 
pajamas,  or  whatever  you  want  to  say,  were  Joe  De  Mers  and 
Coby  Whitmore.   And  to  some  extent--  I  can't  remember  his 
name.   He  taught  at  Chouinard;  I  took  a  class  with  him. 
He'd  been  a  great  illustrator.   He  was  older  than  most  of 
them  at  that  time,  yet  he  had  changed  his  style  and  had  not 
become  passe.   That  was  Pruett  Carter.   Those  were  the 
glamorous  ones.   Jon  Whitcomb  was  another  glamorous 
illustrator  that  we  tried  to  emulate.   And  then  when 
television  came  along,  they  all  went  out  of  style. 


224 


and  they'll  never  come  back. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   So  it  was  more  in  the  staging  of  ideas,  that  you 
communicated  it  in  an  obvious  way  so  the  audience  did  not 
miss  at  all  what  you  were  trying  to  tell  them.   And  Ken 
Anderson  was  a  fantastic  artist  who  had  the  ability  in  one 
drawing  to  suggest  a  whole  sequence  for  a  picture,  by  not 
only  making  it  a  drawing  that  was  appealing,  tremendously 
appealing,  but  it  would  have  an  idea  in  it  or  a  piece  of 
humor  in  it  that  would  make  you  want  to  expand  the  story. 
And  that's  what  he  did  so  well  for  us,  getting  the  story 
started  by  kind  of  leading  the  way  with  these  sort  of 
"setups,"  they  were  called,  or  "atmosphere  drawings"  or  any 
number  of  words  that  they  call  them. 

ZIEGLER:  Could  you  give  an  example,  maybe  think  of  an 
example  from  some  specific  film  that  people  might  have 
seen? 

GERRY:   I  can't  really.   I  know  he  did--  Usually  on  every 
picture,  he  would  start  out  by  making  these  setups  of  the 
characters  and  then  their  situations,  situations  that  were 
suggested  either  by  an  outline  or  by  the  book  we  were 
taking  it  from  or  by  something  in  Ken ' s  head .   There  might 
be  fifteen  or  twenty  of  them,  and  then  we'd  get  together 
and  talk  about  the  story  and  what  was  going  to  happen  and 
these  things  that  he  would  suggest  ideas  for  that  we  could 


227 


evolve  into  something. 

I  will  tell  you —  Ken  didn't  do  this,  but  another 
artist  named  Mel  Shaw —  We  were  working  on  a  picture  called 
Basil  of  Baker  Street,  which  later  was  titled  The  Great 
Mouse  Detective.   Mel  had  drawn  this  picture  of  Big  Ben  in 
England  and  it  was  like  a  down  shot--you  were  way  up  in  the 
sky  and  looking  down  on  it.   But  you  were  close  enough  to 
see  that  the  two  mice,  Basil  and  his  archenemy,  Rattigan, 
were  having  a  fight  to  the  end.   Much  like  Sherlock  Holmes 
had  a  fight  with  Moriarty  at  the  falls.   Here  were  these 
two  mice  at  the  very  tip  end  of  one  of  the  hands  of  Big 
Ben.   Now,  that  picture  was  so  powerful  and  suggested  such 
an  image  that  you  couldn't  do  anything  but  keep  that  in  the 
movie.   It  was  such  a  powerful  image.   And  it  stayed  in  the 
movie.   That  was  done  very  early.   That  is  when  he  was  just 
exploring  possibilities  for  what  could  happen.   I  don't 
think  it  was  in  the  book,  it  was  just  something  that 
occurred  to  him.   This  took  place  in  England.   The  mouse 
was  like  Sherlock  Holmes,  only  he  was  called  Basil,  and 
wore  a  little  hat  like  Sherlock  Holmes.   In  fact,  he  lived 
in  Sherlock  Holmes's  flat.   In  the  wall.   And  that's  one 
example  I  can  remember  of  where  one  drawing  suggested  a 
whole  sequence. 

ZIEGLER:   I  was  looking  at  a  book  about  Disney  [Disney 
Animation:  The  Illusion  of  Life,  Frank  Thomas  and  01 lie 


228 


Johnston] ,  and  it  had  a  sequence  of  drawings  that  you  did 
for  The  Rescuers,  which  unfortunately  I've  never  seen.   But 
it  was  pointing  out  how  in  those  drawings,  you  were  trying 
to  convey  the  loneliness  of  the  little  orphan  girl  by 
showing  her  with  her  back  to  the  audience  and  her  shoulders 
slumped.   And  the  focus  of  interest  was  the  cat  that  was 
brushing  against  her  back.   Could  you  maybe  use  that  as  an 
example  and  talk  about  how  you  would  make  the  drawing  so 
that  it  communicates  clearly  and  unambiguously  to  the 
audience? 

GERRY:   Well,  I  think  in  that  case,  the  director  wanted  to 
make  sure  that  everybody  would  feel  sorry  for  this  little 
girl.   Our  heroine.   I  guess  she  wasn't  a  heroine,  but  she 
was  the  subject  of  the  picture.   So  we  fabricated  this 
orphanage,  what  an  orphanage  looked  like,  because  the 
librarian  at  the  studio  had  found  out  that  there  were  no 
more  orphanages,  orphanages  no  longer  existed.   There  were 
only  foster  homes.   Well,  but  the  director  said,  "Phoo, 
phoo.   I  don't  care.   I  want  an  orphanage."   So  we  did  the 
orphanage. 

So  then  we  thought,  well,  maybe  there  would  be  this 
long  row  of  beds.   And  I  drew  the  long  row  of  beds.   And 
way  down  at  the  end--  All  the  other  kids  had  gone,  and 
there  was  little  Penny  sitting  way  down  at  the  end,  kind  of 
silhouetted  in  the  window  on  her  little  bed.   And  I  drew 


229 


army  beds  that  I  remembered  so  well.   Plain  pipe  beds.   It 
was  a  pretty  bare  place.   And  then  I  think  the  animator- - 
They  were  talking  about  what  would  the  girl  do.   And  I 
think  we  had  some  dialogue  written  in.   It  was  a  problem  of 
what  was  the  animator  going  to  do  with  this  girl  to  not 
only  put  over  the  dialogue  but  to  make  the  audience  feel 
really  sorry  for  her  and  want  her  to  be  adopted  and  not 
want  her  to  be  kidnapped  by  the  cruel  lady  and  all  that. 
So  that's  when  I  started  drawing  all--  "Well,  what  can  the 
cat  do?  What  does  the  girl  do?"   And  you  just  keep  asking 
these  questions. 


230 


TAPE  NUMBER:   VI,  SIDE  TWO 
MAY  18,  1989 

ZIEGLER:   Sorry  I  had  to  interrupt  you.   You  were 
describing  what  you  could  have  the  girl  do  and  what  you 
could  have  the  cat  do  to  show  the  pathos  of  the  situation. 
GERRY:   So  I,  as  a  story  artist,  was  looking  for  material 
to  give  the  animator  some  suggestions  as  to  what  he  would 
do  with  the  little  girl.   So  we'd  have  meetings  and  talk 
about  it,  and  I  began  to  make  these  drawings  of--  What 
would  I  do  with  the  cat?   What  would  the  cat  do?   How  would 
the  girl  treat  the  cat?   Would  the  cat  go  behind  her? 
Would  he  sneak  up  on  her?   Would  he  jump  into  her  lap? 
Would  he  sit  on  the  chair?   We  just  tried  everything  that 
would  come  to  mind.   And  then  I  had  a  drawing  that  I 
thought  was  terribly  amusing  about  when  she  decided  she  was 
going  to  go  have  lunch,  she  took  the  cat  with  her.   But  she 
carried  it  like  a  little  kid.   Sort  of  with  it  hanging 
down,  dragging  on  the  floor.   So  I  think  maybe--  Ollie 
Johnston,  one  of  the  authors  of  that  book,  was  the 
animator.   And  so  I  think  that  when  they  wrote  the  book,  he 
remembered  that.   Also,  he  remembered  it  because  it  wasn't 
so  long  ago.   It  would  only  have  been  a  couple  of  years 
when  he  wrote  the  book.   So  that  is  probably  one  of  the 
reasons  he--  Also,  maybe  he  felt  that  there  was  really 
something  there  that  helped  him  in  his  animation.   And 

231 


maybe  the  sketches  were  available — they  hadn't  been  lost  or 
thrown  away  or  burled  in  the  archives  or  something. 
ZIEGLER:   I  gathered  from  that  book  that  they  usually  do 
that  at  Disney,  that  they  have  the  story  sketched  out  and 
then  discuss  these  sketches  and  get  ideas  for  how  you  can 
animate  them,  what  sort  of  action,  from  looking  at  the 
series  of  sketches. 

GERRY:   A  lot  of  exploration.   Lots  and  lots  of 
exploration.   "What  are  the  possibilities  of  the 
situation?"   You  try  to  explore  them  visually.   That  is  the 
story  of  the  animation-story  game.   The  exploration  of  the 
possibilities . 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah. 

GERRY:   And  that's  one  advantage  that  the  Disney  Studio  is 
able  to  do,  to  take  advantage  of  doing  that.   Many  more 
studios  cannot  afford  to  do  that.   I  mean,  they  just  have 
to  make  it  right  the  first  time.   Bang,  that's  it.   You 
never  look  back,  you  just  keep  going.   And  even  the 
animators  never  look  at  their  work.   Or  care  about  it.   Oh, 
I  won't  say  they  don't  care  about  it — they  never  look  back 
and  say,  "Was  this  a  good  scene,  or  was  that  a  bad 
scene?"   They  just  keep  going  straight  ahead.   So  we  can 
have  the  luxury,  if  you  want  to  call  it,  of  the  agony  of 
exploration . 
ZIEGLER:   Is  that  just  because  Disney  can  better  afford  the 


232 


time  to  be  spent  than  the  other  studios? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  and  that  was  the  tradition.   I  mean,  that  was 

what  Walt  Disney  always  did  himself--or  got  people  to  do-- 

"Find  out  what  we  can  do  with  this." 

ZIEGLER:   What  have  you  mainly  done  at  Disney?   Have  you 

been  an  animator  mostly?   Have  you  been  a  story  man  doing 

stories? 

GERRY:   I  started  out,  as  everybody  did  in  those  days,  as 

an  apprentice  in-betweener .   That  was  the  job.   I  mean,  the 

lowest  job  in  animation.   You  put  the  drawings  in  between 

other  drawings. 

ZIEGLER:   So  you'll  have  one  person  do  an  action  at  one 

point  and  then  an  action  at  another  point  several  seconds 

later.   And  then  someone  has  to  draw  all  the  intermediate 

stages? 

GERRY:   It  would  be  more  like  a  fraction  of  a  second  later. 

ZIEGLER:   Ah. 

GERRY:   The  animator  and  his  assistant  generally  get  the 

thing  all  animated,  and  then  they  decide  where  they  want  to 

put  the  in-betweens  which  will  smooth  out  the  action.   And 

an  in-between  requires  no  effort  or  talent.   I  mean,  of 

course,  it  requires  a  great  deal  of  effort.   It's  one  of 

the  very  difficult  things  to  have  to  do.   But  it  doesn't 

require  much  creativity.   You've  just  got  to  get  that 

drawing  right  in  the  middle  so  the  animator  likes  it  and 


233 


says,  "Yes,  that's  in  the  middle."   It's  a  good  way  to 
begin  to  learn  all  about  animation,  because  you're  working 
with  an  animator,  you're  working  with  exposure  sheets, 
you're  working  with  the  drawings,  and  you  are  a  part  of 
this  team.   I  mean,  you're  working  with  the  animator  and 
his  assistant,  and  there  might  even  be  a  fourth  person 
involved. 

ZIEGLER:   How  do  you  go  about  learning  what  the  action  in 
the  middle  would  be?   Like,  say,  just  me  as  a  lay  person, 
if  I  move  my  hand,  I  am  not  really  aware  of  where  it  is 
between  the  time  it ' s  here  and  the  time  I  finish  my 
movement . 

GERRY:   You've  got  a  light  board.   So  the  light's  coming 
up,  and  you  have  the  two  drawings,  one  on  top  of  the 
other.   You  can  see  both  drawings.   And  on  top  of  that  you 
have  a  drawing  paper.   They  are  all  on  pegs  so  they  won't 
move.   They're  keyed  to  each  other.   Then  you  begin  to 
draw--over  the  two  drawings — the  one  that's  in  between. 
Now,  you  don't  just  draw  it,  you  kind  of  flip  these 
papers.   These  three  drawings,  you  flip  them--it  is  called 
"flipping."   You  flip  the  papers  in  such  a  way  that  you  can 
actually  see  it  move.   And  that  is  the  real  test.   I  mean, 
you  can  say,  "Well,  I  drew  it  in  the  middle."   But  if  it 
doesn't  flip,  in  other  words  if  it  doesn't  move  smoothly — 
ZIEGLER:   If  it  does  a  funny  jump  in  the  middle? 


234 


says,  "Yes,  that's  in  the  middle."   It's  a  good  way  to 
begin  to  learn  all  about  animation,  because  you're  working 
with  an  animator,  you're  working  with  exposure  sheets, 
you're  working  with  the  drawings,  and  you  are  a  part  of 
this  team.   I  mean,  you're  working  with  the  animator  and 
his  assistant,  and  there  might  even  be  a  fourth  person 
involved. 

ZIEGLER:   How  do  you  go  about  learning  what  the  action  in 
the  middle  would  be?   Like,  say,  just  me  as  a  lay  person, 
if  I  move  my  hand,  I  am  not  really  aware  of  where  it  is 
between  the  time  it ' s  here  and  the  time  I  finish  my 
movement . 

GERRY:   You've  got  a  light  board.   So  the  light's  coming 
up,  and  you  have  the  two  drawings,  one  on  top  of  the 
other.   You  can  see  both  drawings.   And  on  top  of  that  you 
have  a  drawing  paper.   They  are  all  on  pegs  so  they  won't 
move.   They're  keyed  to  each  other.   Then  you  begin  to 
draw--over  the  two  drawings--the  one  that's  in  between. 
Now,  you  don't  just  draw  it,  you  kind  of  flip  these 
papers.   These  three  drawings,  you  flip  them- -it  is  called 
"flipping."   You  flip  the  papers  in  such  a  way  that  you  can 
actually  see  it  move.   And  that  is  the  real  test.   I  mean, 
you  can  say,  "Well,  I  drew  it  in  the  middle."   But  if  it 
doesn't  flip,  in  other  words  if  it  doesn't  move  smoothly — 
ZIEGLER:   If  it  does  a  funny  jump  in  the  middle? 


234 


GERRY:   Exactly.   If  it  does  a  funny  jump,  you're  doing  it 
wrong.   So  that's  how.   I  did  that  for  a  while.   But  soon, 
like  I  say,  because  there  was  a  demand  for  people  because 
of  the  new  television--  Because  Walt  had  gone  into 
television.   So  I  was  taken  out  and  put  into  a  layout 
department  where  you  plan  the  scenes,  you  plan  the 
backgrounds,  and  you  plan  where  the  animation  is  going  to 
take  place.   You  provide  the  animator  with  this  plan  via 
the  director.   I  worked  in  that  most  of  the  time.   And  the 
director,  whenever  he  would  get  a  storyboard,  would  have  to 
plan  how  he  was  going  to  make  that  and  put  that  on  the 
film.   So  he  always  called  his  layout  man.   "Come  in  here 
and  let ' s  talk  about  how  we ' re  going  to  put  this  on 
film."   And  so  then  the  layout  man  tends  to  redraw  the 
storyboards  to  the  director's  specifications.   So  from  that 
it  led  to  situations  where  the  director  was  asked  to 
produce  a  story- -he  would  say,  "Hey,  layout  man,  come  in 
here  and  start  making  these  sketches."   So  I  gradually  got 
so  I  was  doing  nothing  but  sketching.   I  kept  wanting  to  go 
back  to  layout,  and  I  kept  saying,  "When  am  I  going  back  to 
layout?"   "No,  you're  too  valuable  doing  this."   So  I  never 
did  get  to  go  back.   I  stayed  on  doing  story  work  most  of 
the  rest  of  my  career.   For  about  twenty  years.   Twenty- 
five  years. 
ZIEGLER:   The  story  that  we  were  talking  about,  where  you 


235 


do  the  still  drawings  of  the  sequence  of  action  and  people 

discussed  them  to  get  some  of  the  ideas? 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Sort  of  a  suggestion  of  what  can  happen. 

But  not  necessarily  a  cinematic  scheme  that  their  director 

is  going  to  follow.   It  is  really  mostly  to  show  the  story 

and  the  possibilities  of  the  situations  and  the 

characters.   The  director,  he  is  the  one  who  is  going  to 

make  it.   He  is  going  to  put  it  on  film,  and  he  is  going  to 

decide  where  the  close-ups  are  and  the  long  shots  and  the 

pans  and  the  length  of  the  scene  and  so  on.   That's  not 

really  the  story  man's  province. 

ZIEGLER:   How  is  the  work  of  the  story  man  similar  to 

illustrating  books?   Do  you  feel  like  you've  learned 

something  from  doing  story  work  that  has  helped  you  in 

illustrating  books?   Or  vice  versa? 

GERRY:   Oh,  sure.   I  think  in  making  things  clear  and 

understandable  and  in  remembering  that  you're  making  the 

picture  for  an  audience,  not  just  for  yourself.   And  the 

most  successful  illustrators  are  ones  who  appeal  to  the 

audience  and  make  the  audience  like  them,  make  them  like 

the  drawing  or  the  illustration. 

ZIEGLER:   And  maybe  picking  out  what  part  of  the  story  is 

the  best  to  illustrate? 

GERRY:   Yeah,  I  think  that,  too.   But  I  would  say  making  a 

motion  picture  is  very  much  like  making  a  book.   There  are 


236 


all  these  elements  that  have  to  go  together,  and  in  the 
movies  it's  done  by  many,  many  different  people.   You  can 
make  a  movie  by  yourself  and  you  can  make  a  book  by 
yourself.   But  there  are  all  these  decisions.   There  are 
all  these  problems  that  have  to  be  faced  that  evolve  in 
much  the  same  way,  from  one  state  to  the  next  to  the  next 
to  the  next.   A  lot  of  times,  for  one  reason  or  another,  I 
had  to  work  on  a  book  for  a  longer  period  of  time  than  I 
anticipated.   And  generally,  the  book  would  have  improved 
from  my  original  idea.   Given  the  extra  time,  something 
would  occur  to  me  to  do  that  hadn't  before.   If  I  had  just 
rushed  right  through  it — 

ZIEGLER:   What  films  have  you  worked  on  from  the  Disney 
Studios? 

GERRY:   When  I  started,  they  were  doing  Sleeping  Beauty. 
And  I  can't  remember--  We  went  from  Sleeping  Beauty  to  101 
Dalmatians.   And  I  was  still  in  layout  on  that,  although  I 
did  do  some  story  work.   From  101  Dalmatians  we  went  to  The 
Sword  in  the  Stone.   I  didn ' t  do  any  story  work  on  that . 
Then  we  went  to  The  Aristocats.   No,  no.   Then  we  went  to 
Jungle  Book.   I  started  to  do  a  lot  more  story  work.   I  did 
some  art  direction  on  that,  too,  though  not  too 
successfully.   But  by  the  end  of  that  picture,  I  was  doing 
almost  exclusively  story  work.   Then  we  went  from  Jungle 
Book  to  The  Sword  in  the  Stone.   No,  I'm  sorry,  I'm 


237 


sorry.   I  should  remember  this,  shouldn't  I?   We  went  from 
Jungle  Book  to  Aristocats.   Right.   Aristocats. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  anyhow,  the  sequence  doesn't  matter  if  you 
don't  remember  it.   We  can  even  look  that  up  somewhere. 
GERRY:   Okay.   So  we  worked  on  Aristocats.   Walt  Disney  had 
died  during  Jungle  Book.   We  worked  on  Aristocats.   I  went 
to  work  for  another  man  named  Winston  Hibler,  who  was 
supervising  the  story  of  The  Aristocats.   I  worked  for  him 
for  quite  a  while.   But  then  as  the  material  began  to 
filter  back  down  to  the  director,  I  went  back  with  the 
director  to  help  him  develop  the  boards  for  filming.   This 
was  the  same  director,  Wolfgang  Reitherman. 

ZIEGLER:   Also  knows  as  "Woolie"  that  we  mentioned  earlier. 
GERRY:   Right.   Right.   He  was  a  very  strong  director. 
Relentless  in  searching  out  the  better  way  to  do 
something.   See,  that  was  Aristocats.   Then  we  went  to  The 
Rescuers,  I  think.   Worked  on  Rescuers —  No,  worked  on 
Robin  Hood.   Then  we  went  to  Rescuers .   And  from  Rescuers 
we  went  to  The  Fox  and  the  Hound,  which  I  only  worked  on 
very  briefly.   I  did  go  back  to  layout  on  The  Rescuers.   At 
the  last  part  of  it  I  went  to  work  on  that  and  did  some 
layout  for  a  director  named  Art  Stevens.   I  left  the  studio 
to  start  my  own  printshop  in  1977.   That  was  right  at  the 
end  of  The  Rescuers,  the  beginning  of  The  Fox  and  the 
Hound.   Then  I  came  back  to  work  on  The  Black  Cauldron  for 


238 


Ron  Miller,  the  producer.   I  was  about  the  fiftieth  person 
who  had  ever  worked  on  it.   But  I  did  my  version,  which  I 
thought  was  pretty  good.   Then  I  left  the  studio  and  came 
back  again  to  work  on  Basil,  the  mouse  detective  who  I  told 
you  was  on  the  clock  tower  of  Big  Ben.   Then  I  worked  on  a 
picture  called  Oliver,  which  was  a  recent  success.   Now  I'm 
working  on  some  stories  that  they're  going  to  use  in  their 
plant  [Disney-MGM  Studio  Tour  at  Disney  World]  down  in 
Florida.   Some  Mickey  Mouse  stories  to  bring  back  the  old 
characters.   Mickey,  Donald,  and  Goofy.   And  I'll  probably 
work  on  one  more  feature,  I  hope,  before  finally 
retiring. 

ZIEGLER:   I  saw  that  Disney  version  of  Winnie- the-Pooh,  and 
I  saw  your  name  in  the  credits  on  that.   I  wonder  if  you 
could  talk  some  about  what  it  is  like  when  there's  a 
classic  illustrator,  like  the  Ernest  Shepherd  illustrations 
for  the  A.  A.  Milne  books,  and  then  you  have  to  animate 
that.   Are  there  any  problems?  Or  maybe  any  particular 
challenges  working  around  these  illustrations  that  everyone 
associates  with  the  story? 

GERRY:   We  had  a  very  difficult  time  with  that  story.   And 
when  I  look  back,  I  wonder  why.   But  it  was.   I  think  it 
was  because  nothing  happened.   It  wasn't  a  real  cartoon 
story.   There  was  no  violent  cartoon  action  that  we  could 
depend  on  for  laughs  or--  It  was  very  whimsical.   And  we 


239 


were  not  suited-- 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  and  so  much  of  the  humor--that ' s  one  of  my 
favorite  books — is  so  verbal,  I  think. 

GERRY:   Right.   I  always  think  of  it  as  literature  and  not 
cartoons.   But  Walt  decided  he  wanted  to  make  it.   So  we 
struggled  with  the  story.   But  meanwhile,  they  were  talking 
about  the  artwork,  and  a  woman  named  Sylvia  Romer  got  a 
book.   She  bought  a  Winnie- the-Pooh  book  at  the  bookstore 
and  she  colored  the  drawings  that  were  in  the  book.   And 
the  director  was  so  impressed  with  these  drawings  that  he 
decided  that  was  the  style  we  were  going  to  use  and 
everybody  should  draw  like  Shepherd.   [laughter]   So  there 
was  an  attempt  to  get  some  of  that  Shepherdesque  texture  in 
drawing  in  there.   It  certainly  was  a  long  way  from 
Shepherd,  but  the  attempt  was  there.   That  was  the  style, 
and  it  all  came  because  Sylvia  had  done  a  job  of  tinting 
these  drawings  that  were  in  the  book.   The  director  was 
just  sold  on  that  idea. 

So  at  least  we  had  the  style,  but  we  still  didn't  have 
the  story,  because  we  were  not  whimsical  people.   But 
eventually,  it  seems  to  me,  we  went  back  more  and  more  to 
the  book,  rather  than  trying  to  invent  cartoon  funny 
business  for  these  characters .   We  went  back  to  the  book 
more  frequently  until  finally--  I  can't  believe  how  much  of 
a  struggle  it  was  to  get  that  first  one  done,  Winnie-the- 


240 


Pooh  and  the  Honey  Tree.   And  it  was  very  successful.   But 
it  didn't  have  any  of  the  things  in  it  that  we  could  do 
best.   You  know?   That  was  why  it  was  such  a  struggle.   But 
we  went  back  and  actually  used  the  dialogue  right  out  of 
the  book  and  actually  played  it  in  more  of  a  whimsical  sort 
of  tongue-in-cheek  way.   And,  of  course,  the  Sherman 
brothers  [Bob  and  Dick  Sherman],  their  songs  did  an  awful 
lot,  too,  to  make  that  picture  come  off.   When  it  was 
finally  animated,  it  seemed  very  much  like  the  book  to 
me.   But  we  had  gone  a  very  circuitous  route  to  get 
there.   Then  we  did  it  and  it  was  popular.   It  became  a 
fairly  big  success.   And  it  was  tied  in  with  some 
merchandising  that  made  it  affordable  to  do  it,  because  we 
couldn't  afford  to  do  anything  but  a  feature  then. 
Anything  less  than  a  feature  we  couldn't  afford  to  do. 

So  then  we  did  a  third  one,  and  the  idea  was 
eventually  to--  I  mean,  we  did  a  second  one  and  we  were 
going  to  do  a  third  one,  and  then  they  could  put  it 
together  in  a  theatrical  release  and  recoup  all  losses,  and 
maybe  make  some  money,  I  don't  know.   So  I  worked  on  the 
second  one.   The  second  one  was  Winnie-the-Pooh  and  the 
Blustery  Day.   And  for  that  one,  we  employed  some  of  the 
top  animators.   The  first  one  was  made  with--  I  don't  want 
to  say  second-stringers,  but  we  were  all  pretty  much 
second-stringers  on  that  first  Winnie-the-Pooh .   And  then 


241 


•  I 


:-M 


the  second  one,  we  got  some  of  the  top  animators.   Milt 
Kahl,  Frank  Thomas,  Ollie  Johnston,  and  some  others.   Then 
on  the  third  one,  I  don't  think  I  was —  I  wasn't  involved 
with  the  third  one  at  all,  so  I  can't  tell  you  how  that  was 
finally  done.   So  that  was  my  Winnie-the-Pooh  experience. 
ZIEGLER:   Ernest  Shepherd's  drawings  are  sort  of  sketchy, 
and  apparently  animation  has  hard  outlines.   And  I  think 
even  though  I  could  see  you  were  taking  the  shapes  of 
Winnie-the-Pooh  and  Eeyore  and  the  other  characters  from 
the  book,  the  picture  still  looked  very  different  in  the 
end. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  well,  that  just  happens  as  the  nature  of 
animation. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  that  is  inevitable  in  the  medium. 
GERRY:   His  pictures  were,  of  course,  still  pictures. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah.   It's  bound  to  be  different. 

GERRY:   Once  you  start  to  move  them,  then  there  are  lots  of 
problems  that  are  not  in  a  still  picture.   And,  of  course, 
the  animators  have  to  have  a  certain  way  to  draw  that ' s 
comfortable  for  them  that  they  can  get  the  character  in, 
you  know,  every  conceivable  position.   Where  Shepherd 
wasn't  faced  with  that  problem.   So  they  might  have  to  draw 
some  of  them  a  little  different.   Well,  by  using  the  xerox 
process,  you  see,  we  could  sort  of  hint  at  the  Shepherd 
style,  in  the  background  at  least. 


242 


the  second  one,  we  got  some  of  the  top  animators.   Milt 
Kahl,  Frank  Thomas,  Ollie  Johnston,  and  some  others.   Then 
on  the  third  one,  I  don't  think  I  was--  I  wasn't  involved 
with  the  third  one  at  all,  so  I  can't  tell  you  how  that  was 
finally  done.   So  that  was  my  Winnie-the-Pooh  experience. 
ZIEGLER:   Ernest  Shepherd's  drawings  are  sort  of  sketchy, 
and  apparently  animation  has  hard  outlines.   And  I  think 
even  though  I  could  see  you  were  taking  the  shapes  of 
Winnie-the-Pooh  and  Eeyore  and  the  other  characters  from 
the  book,  the  picture  still  looked  very  different  in  the 
end. 

GERRY:   Yeah,  well,  that  just  happens  as  the  nature  of 
animation. 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  that  is  inevitable  in  the  medium. 
GERRY:   His  pictures  were,  of  course,  still  pictures. 
ZIEGLER:   Yeah.   It's  bound  to  be  different. 

GERRY:   Once  you  start  to  move  them,  then  there  are  lots  of 
problems  that  are  not  in  a  still  picture.   And,  of  course, 
the  animators  have  to  have  a  certain  way  to  draw  that ' s 
comfortable  for  them  that  they  can  get  the  character  in, 
you  know,  every  conceivable  position.   Where  Shepherd 
wasn't  faced  with  that  problem.   So  they  might  have  to  draw 
some  of  them  a  little  different.   Well,  by  using  the  xerox 
process,  you  see,  we  could  sort  of  hint  at  the  Shepherd 
style,  in  the  background  at  least. 


242 


ZIEGLER:   Okay.   Well,  now,  I  have  just  sort  of  a  whole 

grab  bag  of  things,  of  questions  that  were  raised  by 

previous  interviews  that  I  just  want  to  clear  up. 

GERRY:   Okay.   God,  this  has  been  a  lot  of  work  for  you! 

ZIEGLER:   Things  like  just  verifying  names  and  things  like 

that. 

GERRY:   Oh,  okay. 

ZIEGLER:   But  one  maybe  more  substantial  question.   How  did 

you  come  up  with  the  pseudonym  Bunston  Quayles? 

GERRY:   Oh,  I--  Bunny  Quayles.   A  frightened  little  rabbit 

hiding  in  the  bushes  would  be  a  bunny  quailing  under  the 

bushes.   Because  I  was  a  coward  to  write  it  in  my  own 

name.   [laughter]   And  I  had  met  a  guy  named  Dunston,  and 

they  all  called  him  "Dunny."   Maybe  that  was  where  I  got 

it.   And  me  being  a  chicken,  a  coward,  not  to  write  it 

under  my  own  name. 

ZEIGLER:   Well,  can  you  think  of  any  topics  we  haven't 

covered  or  anything  else  that  you'd  like  to  say  here? 

GERRY:   Well,  I  think  if  you--  The  Disney  story  and  the 

story  of  me  as  a  printer  overlap.   But  the  Disney  story 

would  be  another  book  in  itself,  really.   If  the  library 

was  interested,  there  are  other  people  who  are  still  alive 

who  know  a  lot  more  than  I  do.   But  it's  another  whole 

story.   We  haven't  really  touched  on  it,  just  a  little  bit 

here. 


243 


ZIEGLER:   Well,  would  you  like  to  say  some  more  about  it? 
GERRY:   No.   I  don't  think  so. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  maybe  the  Disney  archive  will  interview  you 
about  that  some  day. 

GERRY:   Right.   That's  right.   I'm  sure  Dave  [David  R. 
Smith] 's  gotten  a  lot  of  those  people--you  know,  that  are 
still  around  who  were  there  at  the  beginning--to  talk. 
ZIEGLER:   Well,  I'd  just  like  to  say  I  have  really  enjoyed 
this.   I  really  had  a  lot  of  fun  looking  at  your  printing 
at  the  Clark  [Library]  and  I  really  enjoyed  talking  to  you. 
GERRY:   I  surely  saved  every  paper,  didn't  I?   Every  scrap 
of  paper.   Yeah,  I  did  that  for  my  own  amusement  really, 
because  I  thought,  "Well,  someday  I'll  just  go  through 
these  things  and  look  at  each  piece  of  paper  for 
remembering.   And  then  I  will  throw  it  away."   But  then  I 
thought  maybe  Ed  [Edwin  H.  Carpenter]  could--  "It  may  be  of 
some  benefit  to  Ed  if  he  would  like  to  have  it."   And  then 
he  gave  it  to  the  Clark.   I  didn't  have  any  idea  they  would 
have  ever  wanted  it. 

ZIEGLER:   Well,  of  course  we  want  it!   And  it's  too  late  to 
throw  it  away  now.   [laughter]   We're  guarding  it  carefully 
down  at  the  Clark.   But  we  would  love  to  have  you  come  down 
to  the  Clark  and  look  at  it  whenever  you  feel  like  it. 
GERRY:   Well,  I  hope  they  were  able  to  get  some  similar 
material  from  Grant  Dahlstrom's  Castle  Press.   I  will  have 


244 


to  ask  John  [Bidwell]  sometime. 

ZIEGLER:   I  haven't  checked  into  what  we  have  in  the  way  of 

archival  material  on  the  Castle  Press.   We  have  a  large 

collection  of  the  books  printed,  and  we  have  a  lot  about 

Grant  Dahlstrom. 

GERRY:   Well,  I  meant  specifically  job  envelopes  or 

something  that-- 

ZIEGLER:   Yeah,  I  don't  know.   I  haven't  checked  into 

that.   But  we  do  try  to  collect  that  sort  of  thing  when  we 

can  get  it  down  at  the  Clark.   Because,  of  course,  that 

really  tells  the  whole  story.   I  mean,  it's  great  to  see 

the  stages  of  the  job,  and  not  just  the  finished  product. 

GERRY:   Yeah.   Brings  back  a  lot  of  memories. 


245 


INDEX 


A-1  Bookbinders,  150 
Abbey  of  San  Encino  Press, 

13,  18-19,  177,  191 
Adjarian,  Max,  161 
Adler,  Elmer,  131 
Alguire,  Danny,  70 
Alice  In  Wonderland,  24 
Alliance  for  Contemporary 

Book  Arts,  191-92 
American  Typefounders 

Fellowship,  201 
Ampersand  Press,  64-65 
Anderson,  Gregg,  165,  172- 

73 
Anderson,  Ken,  219,  225, 

227 
Apostol,  Jane,  36,  40,  58 
Appet,  Louis,  27,  95,  206 
Archer,  H.  Richard,  77 
Ardizzone,  Edward,  67,  86- 

87,  139,  144,  210-11,  223 
Arellanes,  Audrey,  83-84 
Arion  Press,  172,  195 
Aristocats,  The,  238 
Armitage,  Merle,  173-74 

Bailey,  Betty,  59 
Bailey,  Dan,  59,  108 
Bailey,  Paul,  176 
Baker,  Marion  A.,  107-8 
Ballish,  Ray,  35 
Balthus,  Balthasar,  223 
Barnhart,  Dale,  70-71,  80, 

146 
Bawden,  Edward,  144,  223 
Bennett,  Arnold,  214 
Bevis,  Laura  Dorothy,  181- 

82 
Bewick,  Thomas,  217 
Bidwell,  John,  88,  188-89 
Bielenson,  Peter,  131-32, 

156 
Black  Cauldron,  The,  238-39 
Blair,  Preston,  219 
Blau,  Bela,  42,  71,  148-51 
Bliss,  Carey  S.,  54,  63 
Bofa,  Gustave,  223 


Bohne,  Pall  W. ,  39-40,  60, 

62,  118,  184,  206 
Book  Arts  Print  Shop,  191 
Book  Collectors  Society, 

191 
Bookman  Press,  99 
Bookplate  Collectors 

Society,  83-84 
Bradford,  William,  70 
Bradley,  Will,  58-59 
Bragdon,  Miriam,  103-4 
Brandt,  Rex,  144,  219,  222 
Brett,  Dorothy,  99 
Brown,  Grace  Marion,  174 
Brown,  Helen  Carter,  65 
Browne,  Clyde,  13,  16,  17, 

18-19,  177 
Bullard,  Carolyn,  184-85 
Bundy,  Gilbert,  224 
Burns,  Robert,  95 
Business  Printers,  160 
Butler,  William  H.,  89 

Cactus  and  Succulent 

Journal,  13,  15-16 
Califia  Bookstore,  198 
Carpenter,  Edwin  H.,  19, 

93,  115,  186-87,  244 
Carter,  Pruett,  224 
Caslon,  William,  125 
Cassidy,  Barry,  198 
Castle  Press,  7-10,  12-18, 

20,  47-48,  74,  102,  144, 

175,  176,  191,  244-45 
Cheever,  John,  42,  47,  93 
Cheney,  William,  54,  91-92 
China  Boy,  161 
Chirico,  Giorgio  de,  223 
Chouinard,  Nelbert  Murphy,  3 
Chouinard  Art  Institute,  3- 

4,  21 
Christian,  Peggy,  75-76 
Clark,  William  Andrews, 

Jr.,  186 
Clark  Library  (UCLA),  152, 

185-86,  188-89,  197,  244- 

45 


246 


Class,  John,  198 
Clemmons,  Larry,  153-54 
Clyde  Browne  and  the  Abbey 

San  Enclno,  18 
Coats,  Claude,  219 
Cooper,  Oswald,  131 
Corrigan,  A.J.,  58 
Curwen  Press,  112-14,  131, 

132,  156,  157,  211,  214, 

215,  223 

Dahlstrom,  Grant,  7-17,  20, 
21-22,  23-24,  33,  48,  59, 
63-65,  74-75,  76,  127, 
130,  131,  157-58,  161, 
163,  165,  168,  173-76, 
191,  193,  244-45 

Dahlstrom,  Helen  Slater,  65 

Dailey,  William,  117,  179- 
80 

Dailey,  William  and 

Victoria,  Rare  Books  and 
Fine  Prints,  117,  179 

D'Ambrosio,  Joseph,  192, 
194-95 

Davidovich,  Vasily,  70 

Davies,  David  W.,  13,  17, 
18,  56,  102-3,  178 

Davis,  Floyd,  224 

Davis,  Sam,  58 

Dawson,  Glen,  54,  61,  75, 
76,  103,  177,  200 

Dawson,  Muir,  75,  76,  177, 
200 

Dawson's  Book  Shop,  12,  53, 
54,  56,  61,  62,  64,  75, 
106,  112,  177-78,  182, 
198 

De  Mers,  Joe,  224 

Devine,  J. P.,  67 

Dibden,  Thomas  Frognall, 
116 

Dike,  Phil,  219 

Disney,  Walt,  233,  235,  238 

Dreyfus,  John,  183 

Duensing,  Paul  H.,  201-2 

Dwiggins,  William  A. ,  156, 
203 

Earl  Gray  Bindery,  55 


Elsie  and  the  Child,  211, 

214,  223 
Erickson,  Carl,  224 
Evans,  Henry,  86 

Fay,  Eliot,  99 
Fay,  Margaret,  99 
Fine  Arts  Press,  177 
Fisher,  M.F.K.,  40,  57-58, 

211 
Fitzgerald,  Scott,  90 
Ford,  Ford  Madox,  69,  96 
Fox  and  the  Hound,  The,  238 
Francis,  Bruce,  42 
Freedman,  Barnett,  224 
Freeman,  Nate,  30 

Gayne  Brothers  and  Lane, 

209 
Gerry,  Clella  White 

( mother ) ,  6 
Gerry,  Francis  B.  (father), 

2,  56 
Gerry,  Mary  Palmer  (wife), 

24,  30,  31,  33,  66,  205-6 
Golden  Cockerel  Press,  131, 

144 
Goudy,  Frederic,  127,  131 
Graham,  Donald  W.,  3-6,  22- 

23,  225 
Great  Mouse  Detective,  The, 

228 
Green,  Ralph,  107 
Greene,  Graham,  46 
Grey,  Earl,  148 

Hancock,  Warren,  97 
Harmsen,  Tyrus,  77,  190-91 
Hart,  James  D.,  160 
Haselton,  Scott  E.,  9,  12- 

16,  33,  37,  175 
Hibler,  Winston,  238 
Hitchcock,  David,  97-98, 

108,  152 
Hoernle,  John,  20 
Hoffman,  Richard,  178 
Hogarth  Press,  47 
Hopkins,  Richard,  201 
Horn,  Andrew,  191 
Houle,  George  J.,  180 


247 


Housman,  A.E.,  73 
Hoyem,  Andrew,  195,  202 
Hulett,  Ralph,  219 
Huntington  Library  (San 
Marino,  California),  186 

International  Alliance  of 
Graphic  Artists  (lAGA), 
165 

Johnston,  Ollie,  231,  242 

Jones,  David,  223 

Jones,  Louise  Seymour,  55- 

56 
Jungle  Book,  The,  237-38 

Kahl,  Milt,  242 
Karmiole,  Kenneth,  180 
Kater  Craft,  151-52 
Kauffer,  McKnight,  223 
Kavin,  Mel,  151-52 
Kennedy,  Richard,  47 
King,  Susan,  41,  192 
Kinney,  George,  144,  176 
Kosa,  Emil,  219 
Kroll,  Tony,  97,  98 
Kronfeld,  Marion,  65-66 

Laborde,  Charles,  223 
Landacre,  Paul,  163,  184 
Laurel  Hill  Press,  79 
Lawrence,  D.H.,  99 
Lawrence,  Frieda,  99 
Leggett,  Edwina,  198 
LeGuin,  Ursula  K. ,  44 
Liebowitz,  Morris,  31 
Lincoln,  Harry,  26 
Lindner,  Ernest  A.,  53,  55, 

60,  68 

Loomis,  Andrew,  21 

Lord  John  Press,  41-42,  45, 

61,  89,  93,  94,  113 
Lorson,  James  E.,  89,  93, 

116,  179,  200,  218 
Lorson,  Joan,  89,  116 
Lorson 's  Books  and  Prints, 

89-90,  116,  198 
Lucky,  Rochelle,  46-47,  55 
Luhan,  Mabel  Dodge,  99 
Lustig,  Alvin,  173 


Lutes,  Dela,  69,  96 

Mackensie  and  Harris, 

Typesetters,  195,  202 
Magritte,  Rene,  223 
Marks,  Lillian,  66,  118, 

148,  159,  191 
Marks,  Saul,  74,  130,  131, 

157-59,  161,  163,  191, 

193 
Marshall,  Elva,  69,  97,  98, 

176,  192 
Matisse,  Henri,  223 
Matrix  (magazine),  147-48, 

215 
McCallister,  Bruce,  174-75 
Meynell,  Francis,  131,  132, 

156 
Mid-West  Matrix,  124 
Miller,  John  Parr,  225 
Miller,  Ron,  239 
Moore,  Clement  C. ,  78 
Moore,  William,  4,  225 
Morison,  Stanley,  127,  156, 

158 
Murphy,  Gerald,  32 

Nash,  John  Henry,  186 
New  Ampersand  Press,  64-65 
Nicoll- Johnson,  Mark,  65 
Nonesuch  Press,  131,  132, 

156,  157 
Norman,  Bonnie  Thompson,  192 

O'Connor,  John,  223 

Oliver,  239 

Olson,  House,  16-18,  102, 

175 
101  Dalmatians,  237 
Orphanos,  Stathis,  45-46, 

119-20,  142 
Owen,  Wilfred,  70-71,  146 

Palmer,  Russell  (brother- 
in-law),  24 

Peach  Pit  Press,  31 

Peet,  Bill,  225 

Percival,  Olive,  36 

Peter  Pauper  Press,  132, 
156 


248 


^m 


Housman,  A.E.,  73 
Hoyem,  Andrew,  195,  2*2 
Hulett,  Ralph,  219 
Huntington  Library  (Si 
Marino,  California)  186 

International  Allianc  of 
Graphic  Artists  (IAv\), 
165  I 

Johnston,  Ollie,  231, 142 

Jones,  David,  223 

Jones,  Louise  Seymour  55- 

56 
Jungle  Book,  The,  237  38 

Kahl,  Milt,  242      i 
Karmiole,  Kenneth,  18' 
Kater  Craft,  151-52 
Kauffer,  McKnight,  22. 
Kavin,  Mel,  151-52 
Kennedy,  Richard,  47 
King,  Susan,  41,  192 
Kinney,  George,  144,  76 
Kosa,  Emil,  219 
Kroll,  Tony,  97,  98 
Kronfeld,  Marion,  65-6 

Laborde,  Charles,  223 
Landacre,  Paul,  163,  J4 
Laurel  Hill  Press,  79 
Lawrence,  D.H.,  99 
Lawrence,  Frieda,  99 
Leggett,  Edwina,  198 
LeGuin,  Ursula  K.,  44 
Liebowitz,  Morris,  31 
Lincoln,  Harry,  26 
Lindner,  Ernest  A.,  5. 

60,  68 
Loomis,  Andrew,  21 
Lord  John  Press,  41-4, 

61,  89,  93,  94,  113 
Lorson,  James  E.,  89,  3, 

116,  179,  200,  218 
-on,  Joan,  89,  116 

^ooks  and  Pri  ts, 
198 

5 


Lutes,  Dela,  69,  96 

Mackensie  and  Harris^ ^^ 
Typesetters,  195^  -^- 

Magritte,  Ren6,  223  ^ 

Marks,  Lillian,  66.  -** 
148,  159,  191       ,^ 

Marks,  Saul,  74,  l'^..^^ 
157-59,  161,  1^-'   ■' 
193  ,   -.   ,. 

Marshall,  Elva.  ?- 
176,  192 

Matisse,  Henri   ---'   .  ^^ 

Matrix  (magazine'* 

215 
McCallister,  Bruc*^ 
Meynell,  Francis.  -" 

156 
Mid-West  Matri*.  •-•_^ 
Miller,  John  F*rT  -- 
Miller,  Ron,  T** 
Moore,  Clement  - 
Moore,  Willia"  * 
Morison,  Stanl«y 

158 
Murphy,  Gerald-  *• 


87 
37 


Nash,    Jol»n  »i*^'       ^^ 
New  Ampersand  ^'^ 
Nicoll-Johaas*'    " 
Nonesuch  Pra««.                  i 

156,    157         ^^^  ^ 
Norman,    Boora*  ''^        -26,    242 
^        J,    17,    18, 
O'Connor.  Jo*** 
Oliver.   239     .           ,i,    182 
Olson.  wa»'  '         1 

175                         115 
101  Dalwf            14-15 

55, 

45, 

Orphanos                 115 
119-'              -,    68 

Ower 

ohn,    45 

p 

^ric,    194 

^ 


Disney  Studio,  5,  23- 
.,  140-41,  153-54,  218- 
9,  225-42 
Iton,  Izaak,  72 


INDEX  OF  BOOKS  DESIGNED  AND/OR  PRINTED  BY 
VANCE  GERRY 

Bahloul  and  Hamdouna 

Bibliography  of  Cheney  Miniatures 

"Bibliophile's  Map  to  Los  Angeles,  A" 

Black  Cat,  The 

Book  of  Poems,  A;  Cruachan 

Borscht:  Being  a  Russian  Recipe 

Boy ' s  Book  of  Fireworks 

Butterfly's  Ball  and  the  Grasshopper's  Feast, 
The  (not  yet  published) 

Castle  &  Peacocks 

Chile;  Being  a  Texas  Recipe 

Christmas  at  Forest  Sauvage 

Christmas  at  Manor  Farm 

Complete  Angler,  The 

Day  the  Pig  Fell  in  the  Well,  The 

Designs  Cut  for  Plant in  Press  Calendars,  65-66 

1941  to  1946 

Dibden's  Ghost  116 

Distributing  Type  or  the  Just  Art  of  67 

Throwing  In 

Ernest  A.  Lindner  Collection  of  Antique  54-55,  159 

Printing  Machinery,  The 

Everyday  Gourmet,  The  59 


First  Thanksgiving,  The 


50- 

51 

54 

88, 

188 

61 

79 

69 

62 

115 

-16 

147 

69, 

70 

117 

78 

72- 

73 

42, 

47, 

93- 

94 

70 


251 


Flowers  on  a  Table;  A  Study  of  an  54 

Imprudent  Wood  Engraving 

Four  Common  Plants;  Linoleum  Cuts  and  84-85 

the  Text  Describing  Oleander,  Plumbago, 
Wild  Cucumber,  and  Yarrow 

Four  Weeds  85-86, 

100-101 

Gatsby,  No  Show  Dog,  Found  a  Home  in  67-68 

Hollywood  Anyway 

Gentleman's  Cooking  Book  (not  yet  published)     110-11 

Glimpse  of  the  Past  from  the  Minutes  of  77 

the  Rounce  and  Coffin  Club,  A 

Grant  Dahlstrom  at  Seventy- five;  More  Tributes    64 

Grant  Dahlstrom,  Master  Printer;  A  Tribute  on    63-65 
His  Seventy-fifth  Birthday 

Helen  Slater  Dahlstrom,  1905-1985;  Memorial      65 
Addresses  Given  August  30,  1985 

Hour  of  the  Rose,  The  73 

House  Olson,  Printer 


I  Remember  Robinson  Jeffers 

John  Gerry  and  His  Descendants 

Last  Time  I  Dined  with  the  King,  The 

Letter  from  Mark  Twain  concerning  the  Paige 
Compositor,  A 

Letters  concerning  D.  H.  Lawrence 

Letters  of  Saint  Jerome 

Marvelous  Platen  Jobber  of  George 
Phineas  Gordon,  The 

Mary  Elizabeth 

Miniatures  on  Modern  Artists;  Some  Notes 


252 


17, 

102-3, 

178 

63 

56- 

57 

80- 

81 

68 

99- 

100 

161 

106 

-7 

78 

52, 

147 

69,    96- 

■98 

27-28 

89,    90 

86-87 

43-44, 

61, 

89 

53-54 

69,    96 

76-n 

42-43, 

94- 

95 

Mission  Grapes 

Night  before  Christmas,  The 

Nothing  To  Wear 

On  the  Illustrating  of  Books 

Out  of  the  West;  Poems  by  William  Everson, 

Gary  Snyder,  Philip  Levlne,  Clayton  Eshleman, 
and  Jerome  Rothenberg 

Picture  Book  of  Chickens,  A 

Plum  Pudding 

Poems 

Proud  Flesh 


Restful  Reading  for  Young  and  Old,  Designed  67 
to  Banish  Care  and  Alleviate  Cynicism, 
Decorously  Illustrated  with  Cuts 

Sandwiches  and  Coffee  96 

San  Pasgual  Press,  The:  A  Dream  Nearly  39,  46, 

Realized  114-15 

Seaside  Plants  of  Southern  California  85-86, 

(not  yet  published)  115,  210- 

11 

Selected  War  Poems  of  Wilfred  Owen  70-71,  146 

Sharp  Criticism  of  Nineteenth  Century  Letter-  58 
Forms,  A 

Some  English  Christmas  Customs  81-82 

Some  Epigrammatical  Notes  26-27,  95 

Some  Fond  Remembrances  of  a  Boy  Printer  40,  74-76 
at  the  Castle  Press 

Special  Recipes  for  Special  People  11,  62-63 

Spring  Barley:  Poems  of  the  Santa  Ynez  106,  147 
Valley 


253 


standing  and  the  Waiting,  The  40-41,  57- 

58,  211, 
214,  215 

Stillmeadow  Christmas  66 

Summer  Impressions  and  Other  Poems  105 

3X3;  Nine  Poems  from  Los  Angeles  65 

Through  the  Garden  Gate  103-4 

To  a  Mouse  95-96 

Topography  of  the  Castle  Press,  circa  1943,  47-49,  88 
and  Other  Dim  Recollections 

Torrey  Pine  Reserve  44 

Trans-Pacific  189 

Treatise  on  the  Art  and  Antiquity  of  Cookery  46-47,  55, 

in  the  Middle  Ages,  A  148-49 

Tussie  Mussie,  A  55-56 

Type  67 

Typographical  Howitzer,  The  58 

Under  Three  Inches  61-62 

Unique  1824  Columbian  Press,  A  60 

Vaporisms  62 

Vegetable  Soup  69,  96 

Visit  from  Saint  Nicholas,  A  78 

Walt  Stanchfield:  A  Series  of  Wood  Cuts  105 

Will  Bradley  40,  58-59 

With  Rue  My  Heart  is  Laden  73 

Zinfandel  Grapes  69,  98 


254 


^/'7r 


Hfi^>^— -^ 


•  I